Fame and celebrity, people will do anything in today’s society to achieve them. Making a sexually explicit video, filming the everyday life of your family or getting involved with a married professional golfer are all ways people have gained riches and notoriety in today’s world. Some have even resorted to stealing from the starlets they admired, which is the basis of Sofia Coppola’s new film The Bling Ring.
Based on actual events with the names changed, The Bling Ring is the Hollywood tale of five troubled teens who manage to steal over $3 million in goods from the likes of Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson and Lindsay Lohan. Things start out small for the gang led by Rebecca and Mark (newcomers Katie Change and Israel Broussard), who start checking unlocked cars for items, but they find a better tool for their petty theft, the internet. The Bling Ring shows the audience that there is no privacy in today’s digital age. The teens use gossip websites for celeb intel and internet maps with street views to plan their burglaries. It’s a simple, but genius plan as long as some clueless out-of-town star leaves a window unlocked or a key under the mat. The irony is social media websites is what eventually takes the crew down with pictures splattered all over the internet with the burglary bunch and the stolen items.
Normally, a story like The Bling Ring would make me sick. The worship of reality TV and fame at any cost personalities has given our society a lazy attitude toward achieving your goals in life. Steal the designer clothes and jewelry from the no talent stars of TMZ and you to will become a star. Even when the authorities closed in on the ring, their leader’s only concern was did Lindsay Lohan mention her to the cops. The attitude behind The Bling Ring bothered me, but it also intrigued me as well. The Bling Ring moves very smoothly for a character study under Sophia Coppola’s direction. There’s no lull with the group of dysfunctional teens as their acts get more brazen with each home entered. It was fascinating to see a couple of misguided and clueless teens pull off such a heist without a care in the world. The Bling Ring treats the crimes as the quintet’s way of achieving the American dream they so desire.
The real stars of The Bling Ring are Emma Watson and Leslie Mann, whose characters are based on Alexis Neiers and her mother from the reality show Pretty Wild. The mother daughter tandem are complete space cadets that bring nothing of value to society, but take over the screen every time they are present. They are right out of the Clueless generation that believe they are special and born to be stars. When you watch Emma Watson’s portrayal of Nicki you think, “Can she be that dumb?” The answer is yes and she’s not the only one. Sophia Copolla shows us a world where fame is everything even if it’s cameras flashing at you after a guilty verdict in court.
The Bling Ring turns out to be a hidden gem with its indie docudrama style in a summer full blockbusters. The Bling Ring shows a scary road we’re heading down full of human car crashes, yet for some reason I want to slow down and look at the carnage. That reminds me I have to go check TMZ right now. Overall, I give The Bling Ring 3 out of 4 potatoes.
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