Written by Yue Jie

Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Genre: Crime, Drama
Running time: 91 minutes
Classification: M18 – Drug Use And Coarse Language
Release date: 12 September 2013
Rating: 3/5

“I think we just wanted to be part of the lifestyle. The lifestyle that everybody kinda wants.”

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To break into the home of celebrities, steal their riches and get away with it scot-free is naturally deemed impossible to do, and no doubt illegal. Not impossible in the case of The Bling Ring, however. In the latest feature by Sofia Coppola, The Bling Ring features an ensemble cast best known in the film as The Bling Ring, a group of teenagers that frequently enter the houses of Hollywood celebrities and make a quick steal with jewelry and cash.

Marc Hall (Israel Broussard) is a new student at Indian Hills High School and he befriends Rebecca Ahn (Katie Chang), a fame-obsessed girl. Rebecca introduces Marc to her group of girlfriends, Nicki, Chloe, and Sam in a nightclub as they take drugs and party. Together, led by Rebecca, they enter mansions and bungalows at night expertly. As though on casual visits, they leave with branded clothes, goods and expensive accessories in their loot. Initially reluctant and hesitant about it, Marc slowly builds his courage and joins them in further break-ins.

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Emma Watson plays Nicki Moore, a bimbotic and materialistic girl obsessed in the riches. She persuades Marc to continue going into houses, even at times when they are on the verge of getting caught. Her oblivious attitude makes matters worse when the break-ins become a shopping spree as she takes her time to look through the closets and wardrobes. Fans of Watson will nevertheless be delighted to see the English actress in more films after her recent appearance in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).

The teens use the Internet, and a simple search reveals the locations of celebrities. Together with entertainment news on where the celeb is, the teens take their chance to break into the houses. It is at this point that one would wonder if there is any security for these houses. Nonetheless, what they don’t realize is that the Internet is also the very tool that will lead them to their demise as the law catches up with them.

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With their new steals of jewelry, necklaces and lots of cash, the teens post their pictures on social media, attracting compliments and being in the center of attention. As if that isn’t enough, they flaunt and show off the branded apparel and shiny bling to their friends, much to their friends’ jealousy and admiration.

Coppola uses our natural desires to revel in the lavish lifestyles of the celebrities. To see the luxury the celebrities enjoy is a novelty and a sight to admire at first, and you’d want them to continue their streak of break-ins. But after a while, the excitement diminishes and you’re left wishing that the group stops, else they get caught. For added realism, Coppola invites Hollywood celebrities Paris Hilton and Kirsten Dunst to the nightclub for actual filming of the scenes.

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While The Bling Ring is inspired by real life cases of break-ins into the actual homes of Hollywood celebrities, Coppola makes no effort to introduce the various characters and goes straight into the crimes. As if they have no common sense, the teens don’t bother to look out for security and surveillance cameras in the area.

Admittedly, The Bling Ring is a letdown in Coppola’s handling of the material, and her use of slow moments and heart-thumping scenes does not go as well as she intends. No doubt, the subject matter of The Bling Ring will still appeal to teenagers and it serves as an outlet to live the Hollywood life through the eyes of The Bling Ring.

Check out the trailer below!

(Disclaimer: All films reviewed are for educational purposes only and not meant for commercial exploitation.)

 

About us: SG NEWWAVE is a film club that conducts “film appreciation” sessions and post-screening critiques. These critiques are conducted and documented for educational use only. They are NOT in anyway in support of any leisure of profit making activity.