Friday, June 21, 2013

 

The Bling Ring

The Bling Ring official site It's not exaggerating to claim that American's celebrity-obsessed and materialism-centered culture pollutes the public like super-sized fries. It's also true that the glamorous images of the rich and famous flood the mass media everyday like super-sized coke. These junk foods are not good for the body and worse to the soul. But certainly, this view is not shared by many teenagers, especially those ruthless thieves in director Sofia Coppola's energetic new film "The Bling Ring" (USA 2012 | 90 min.). Inspired by a Vanity Fair article, the film is based on a true crime committed by a gang of California teenagers, called Bling Ring, who burglarized homes of celebrities. Although what happened in the movie is factual, it feels completely surreal to watch these kids in action.

The ring leader Rebecca (Katie Chang) is a remarkably assertive young lady who is recently transferred to her new high school. She adores the life style of celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan but she doesn't have the fortunate to live like them. Her solution is to steal. She recruits another newly transferred student Marc (Israel Broussard) to trace celebrities' whereabouts through tabloid Web sites such as TMZ. Once they find out a celebrity is not home while attending an event or a party, they pay a visit to the celebrity's home, and pick whatever catch their eyes on their way out.

They become the attention center at school by wearing celebrities' clothing and jewelries. In no time, the Bling Ring grows with more members like carefree classmate Chloe (Claire Julien), the shallow yet ambitious Nicki (Emma Watson) and her best friend Sam (Taissa Farmiga). They casually patronize these homes. They steal, party, hangout, then repeat, until they are finally caught. Then they shock us again by recounting the crime to the authority and to the media.

The Bling Ring Official Site

It's appalling to see these high school students never actually study or attend schools. They seem spend all their time smoking, getting high, drinking, partying, stealing, shopping, and living in a life style they always dream about. Yet, no adults around them seem to notice. It's also astonishing how easy for them to get into these celebrities' homes.

If these youngsters were burglarize a local Boys and Girls Club, without a question they would be condemned by the public and media. However, when they are stealing from rich celebrities, their actions become entertainment like a reality show. They are criminals only in the eyes of law. They become stars to the media and receive their fame and celebrity status they have been always seeking for. Now, there is this movie about them.

It's certainly eye popping to see the crime unfolding in the film. Meanwhile, intentionally or not, the film also serves as a tabloid reporting on celebrities' life style and feeds the appetite of those who obsessed with the rich and famous. Scene after scene, we hear endless "Oh My God!" exhilarations when these teenagers open one room after another. It becomes repetitive and tiresome, unless you pay attention to the brands and location of the homes.

Do those burglar victims realize what have been missing after these teenagers rake up more than three million dollars worth of goods from their homes? Oh, who cares?

"The Bling Ring," an A24 release, opens on Friday, June 21, 2013 in San Francisco Bay Area.


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