THE BLING RING

The Bling Ring

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Based on true events The Bling Ring tells the tale of a group of  Los Angeles based teenage high school kids who faced with the onslaught of media coverage about celebrities living the high life, decide that the best way in which to attain such a lifestyle is to simply steal it ,quite literally, from their heroes themselves. Directed by Sofia Coppola –possibly the biggest name director showing at this years EIFF- it is an interesting study on how the internet, social media and constant access and availability to the stars and their lives make it easy to track their movements and thus able to work out when their properties are empty and thus more vulnerable.

 Arriving at a new school and desperate to make friends Marc (Israel Broussard) falls in with Katie (Rebecca Chang) who is obsessed with stars such as Paris Hilton, Megan Fox and Lindsay Lohan. Initially just breaking into an empty house of one of Marc’s rich friends they realise how easy it is to obtain entry to a vacant property.

 Deciding that their next target should be someone more famous they one night, after determining the whereabouts of their victim online, decide to break into Paris Hilton’s house and find-after ridiculously discovering her key under the doormat- it is just as simple to break into and what is more they can pilfer designer clothes, jewellery and cash. What is more is that in the beginning they were able to go unnoticed as the stars they selected had so much stuff they simply did not notice they had even been burgled.

 At this point unable to keep it to themselves they draw other celebrity obsessed types into their circle and become bolder in their objectives, holding impromptu parties in the empty properties and actually planning what they are going to steal before they get there. Thus, alongside the three already mentioned, next to fall prey to their scavenging are Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson and Audrina Partridge. Eventually they are caught on camera footage and at this point the game is almost up but it is Marc who breaks down under questioning and turns the others in.

An interesting commentary on the celebrity sated society we-  and probably more so in America-  live in today it shows how such a proliferation of wealth inspires not only envy but motivational greed. Coppola does an admirable job with this film and her young cast (including a clearly in her element Emma Watson) manage to elicit little sympathy but still manage to help us understand why they did what they did. Coming across as shallow and self serving it is an observation on society in general and the belief that the lifestyles we are fed in gossip magazines and online make it all seem so easy and within reach that it is little wonder that people will believe that all they have to do is reach out and take it. Inevitably the group became celebrities in their own right and this shows just how easy it all really is.

The Bling Ring is showing at the Filmhouse on Saturday 22nd June and at Cineworld on Sunday 23rd June at 6.40pm

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