Review: The Bling Ring

21 Aug

Inspired by true life events explored in the Vanity Fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins”, Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring follows a group of teenagers as they track down the homes of the celebrities they read and hear about on a daily basis, with the aim of – to put it bluntly – stealing their shit.

This is Coppola’s first major outing since 2006’s Marie Antoinettewith her 2010 film Somewhere largely falling under the radar. The Bling RIng’s star-billing of Emma ‘I act with my eyebrows’ Watson however, has guaranteed this film a certain degree of media attention, mainly because good old Hermione plays a little bit of a, *gasp*, naughty girl and gets her pole-dance on in Paris Hilton’s nightclub bedroom…

The film’s main group, led by ringleaders Rebecca and Marc, desperately want to live the celebrity lifestyle that has been thrust into our 21st century lives by the countless MTV reality shows, the Perez Hilton’s of the blogosphere and the stalker-friendly ease of social media.  So this young group of modern day ‘Robin Hoods’ take what they want and ‘need’ from those they think won’t miss it. The relative ease with with they complete their crimes is one of the films more amusing points – why the hell doesn’t anyone lock their door in Hollywood?!

For the rebellious group, reading style mags and gossip blogs is no longer an innocent teenage hobby. Weekend by weekend it progresses to ‘research’ to find the hottest items and track which stars are out of town with a walk-in-wardrobe ready to be raided back home. The film is purposefully as shallow and vapid as it’s protagonists – we all know what will come to pass so the plot is thin and airy, interspersed with scenes of pretty young things taking ‘selfies’ to upload to Facebook. These ‘social media’ segments are particularly effective and prevalent, as ultimately it is Rebecca & Co’s downfall as their peers begin to recognise stolen items in the group’s painfully hip Facebook photos. It highlights the ever popular question of how much of our lives we should really share on Facebook.

Bling Ring (2013)Katie Chang and Israel Broussard

There is nothing outstanding about any of the performances in The Bling Ring. But again, that kind of feels like the point. The characters are as airbrushed and two dimensional as the runway photo shoots they covet. Watson in particular does a very good impression of someone struggling to find 2 brain cells to rub together but who has dreams of ‘running the country one day’. With a here today gone tomorrow music video vibe to most of the proceedings, there is no concern or even care felt when these guys are caught. No tension is built at any point, and it’s hard to feel anything for anyone, except some serious respect for whoever chose the songs for the film’s soundtrack.

It all looks gorgeous, and shiny, and slick and is definitely an enjoyable enough diversion for it’s 95 minute running time. It is possible to see deeper meaning in this film, but making any sort of intelligent statement about this film kind of feels against the point…


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