By Jacob Montgomery (Texas)
Based on a string of real life crimes, The Bling Ring focuses on the lives of a set of teenagers (4 girls and 1 guy) who break into famous celebrities’ homes, and steal their things, both to sell and to keep for themselves. From that set-up alone, there was a lot of potential here, but sadly, nothing ever comes of any of it.
The film does try to reaffirm some great lessons, but is unable to have it make any kind of impact. Of the whole 90-minute runtime, the first hour is spent on just showing their debauchery and dissipation. I get that the idea is supposed to show what their lives are like as a result of their thievery, but the end result is that the film gets too repetitive, and could even be seen a celebration and as inadvertently endorsing emulation.
While I’m on the topic of the running time, I must say that the pacing for this film is horrible. The film feels very disjointed, almost like they were trying to get this film done as quickly as possible, which is obviously seen in how few times Sofia Coppola uses different angles in the same scene. Some scenes drag on for way too long, while others go by way to fast, which makes it hard to care about anything.
Now, the last 30 minutes of the film is where it really starts to get good. This is when the film starts going into celebrity obsession, and deals with the consequences of these teenager’s actions, and it even leaves the viewers with a scary but true message, the kids got what they wanted in the end, attention.
However, even if the ending is better than the rest of the film, that still does not mean that it doesn’t have problems either. Once again, the pacing is still bad; it’s just better. And like I said, the ending doesn’t leave as much of an impact as it wanted.
And I think the impact is weakened by the fact that I never felt like I got to know these characters. They feel one note, to the point that the four girls feel like the exact same character. The only one that they even try to do that with is Emma Watson’s character, where we see how what her family life is like, and what her life is like after everything is over. Everyone else is a one-note character, the 2 ditzy blondes, the risk taker, and the gay guy with no backbone. So because I know so little about them, I don’t care what happens to them. If you’re going to spend the first hour just on their thievery, I implore you to go into the characters a little bit more so that the audience can actually care.
This really is a shame, because I know this film could’ve been good. The acting is actually very strong, particularly from Emma Watson, and the film’s plot could’ve made for an interesting and complex drama, but all the good acting in the world still wouldn’t be able to save the disjointed pacing, lack of any impact, positive or negative, and a seeming lack of passion.