THE BLING RING: A REVIEW

THE BLING RING was part of the Sydney Film festival and will be releasing in Australia on the 8th August 2013. Please enjoy SALTY KERNEL, CLAIRE SMITH’S review for the first film she has not been a fan of – who would have thought 🙂

Firstly, the entire plot can be summed up in a 140 character twitter post:

#BlingRing – Snooty teens in LA stalk celebrities online and burgle their houses for cash and swag while they’re out of town. #swag #YOLO

There. After reading that; you’ve now seen the movie. Go home.

 

SOFIA COPPOLA'S THE BLING RING STARRING EMMA WATSON
SOFIA COPPOLA’S THE BLING RING STARRING EMMA WATSON

 

The true story behind the film was published as a Vanity Fair Article back in 2010. Having read the article after seeing the film, Bling Ring now seems nothing more than a thoroughly plagiarized and carefully hand-written school report on the article.

We are shown the storyline of the events, all the pivotal moments are highlighted and outline how the characters took the leap into becoming celeb-swag thieves but we’re not taken much further into the lives of the characters and their reasoning behind their crime-spree that victimized such high-end celebs as Orlando Bloom, Megan Fox and Lindsay Lohan. As a result we just don’t feel anything for these characters. There’s really nothing more to the story than the synopsis and the film doesn’t dare to delve further.

 

SOFIA COPPOLA'S THE BLING RING STARRING EMMA WATSON
SOFIA COPPOLA’S THE BLING RING STARRING EMMA WATSON

 

This would have been a really interesting story if director Sofia Coppola (Marie Antoinette, Lost in Translation) had taken a few more risks – maybe through more of a documentary style of film-making? It would have been so intriguing to see the actual teens parents’ points of view, or better yet, the real teens themselves. Intersperse real interviews with the vacuous, vapid celebration of teen crime sprees and it would have been a really captivating story. Instead the characters are Americanized and flawless which is fairly underwhelming to watch.

Coppola’s direction on this film appears minimal and with the exception of Emma Watson (the Harry Potter Series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) the acting is bland and unmotivated. Also stay tuned for several shots of nauseating camera work – for example a ten second blurred focus shot where characters literally walk into the focal are of the scene. I had to close my eyes on two occasions because the blur was so offensive.

 

SOFIA COPPOLA'S THE BLING RING STARRING EMMA WATSON
SOFIA COPPOLA’S THE BLING RING STARRING EMMA WATSON

 

An interesting aspect of this story would have been the court case – unfortunately this is the one area of the film that is entirely glossed over. Whereas we see endless scenes of partying, drugs and driving shots in LA that are repetitive and lengthy,  when it comes to the court case all we get is a paragraph of voice-over announcing the Burglar Bunch’s sentences.

The one thing I did like about this film was the soundtrack, but sadly one of the cinema’s speakers was blown-out so all I heard was muffled fuzz on the high end and busted bass on the low – so I couldn’t even really enjoy that.

This film is unlikeable, unmotivated and immature, just like the characters it portrays.

 

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