7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Morality takes a backseat in Hollywood bling tale...

The film, Bling Ring, is based on a number of Hollywood heists in October 2008 through to August 2009 carried out by a group of fame-obsessed teenagers.

It's a story that would be ludicrous if it weren't true - a group of teenagers begin robbing homes under the guidance of charismatic it-girl Rachel Lee (named Rebecca Ahn in the film and played by Katie Chang).

Lee is obsessed with reality television and style, and chose celebrity homes to rob based on whose wardrobe she wanted to raid.

Her sidekick, Marc Hall (played by Israel Broussard), went along with almost all the robberies, reportedly finding the addresses of the homes on the Internet.

The pair went to Paris Hilton's house while she was away, and found the key to her house under the mat and walked in.

They burglarised the house several times without her noticing, until they made off with almost $2 million in jewellery.

Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, the film bears unmistakable elements of her shooting style, with close-cut shots and music drifting in and out of the audio.

Contemporary songs are used to great effect throughout the film, often in scenes when the characters are singing along to the radio or in clubs.

This means the sudden absence of a bass note is immediately noticeable, and Coppola conducts many key burglary scenes almost in silence.

The film has quite a slow pace, and might be difficult for some to understand the moral of the movie - mostly because Coppola does not provide one.

The teenagers depicted are money-hungry and fame-obsessed, take an array of drugs and alcohol, are offhand about their conquests and are so arrogant about their odds of getting away with it that they take pictures with the items they steal and don't try to wipe away fingerprints.

However, the absence of serious condemnation lifts the movie, although it has been accused of glorifying the thefts (by some real-life victims such as Rachel Bilson).

The breakthrough from the movie, though, is the stunning acting by Emma Watson (playing Nicki Moore).

Her comedic timing, impersonations and layers of subtly is intriguing, and will shatter any doubts about her acting ability.

Leslie Mann also plays a terrific Laurie Moore (Nicki's mother) and is compelling and hilarious.

Throughout the movie, Coppola intersperses actual footage from the time of the arrests and trial through gossip sites such as TMZ, an interesting choice that makes the film a semi-documentary.

Incredibly, Paris Hilton actually lent her house to Coppola for two weeks, so the scenes burglarising her house were actually filmed there. Topped off with cameo appearances by Hilton and Kirsten Dunst, the film will not be to everyone's taste but nonetheless is a great addition to Coppola's growing canon of indie films. The film is showing at Bahrain City Centre and has a running time of 90 minutes.

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