''The Bling Ring' is not your usual crime driven narrative piece. The crime is found throughout its filmic duration, however through a conscious decision to centre the exploits of the narrative more so on the young offenders, the film manages to bring a startling high level of humanism with more emphasis placed on the motives behind the exploits rather than the actual crime spree itself - giving across true reasons, if that is the way too describe it, for the young criminals to have chosen the path that they did. Not making excuses for their actions however, Sofia Coppola's script should be noted more so for its attention to detail and the desire to showcase the corresponding pressure placed upon children today, with regards the celebrity based era that seemingly places itself heavily in the public eye. This pressure, placed within a narrative that centres on the characters overconfidence and corresponding habit, is what allows the films young leads to mannerise their roles in such a way that the film is able to gain audience empathy regardless of the characters actions. In complete control of their roles, and in a surprisingly striking manner based on the lack of experience that the young cast has obtained - with only Emma Watson seemingly having had multiple filmic roles prior to this picture - the characters are crafted into existence on screen well. Having been based on real people surely has helped in the organic nurturing of characteristics that these roles held.
Based upon real events, 'The Bling Ring' takes place within the lush landscapes and vivid vistas of Los Angeles, where showbiz parties are the norm and children seek out multiple idols in which they can hope to somewhat emulate. Following new student Marc Hall, as ventures into this idealistic environment, the narrative outlines his decline form normality through petty theft to the larger scale robberies that the film centres upon - gaining notoriety for his actions along the way. Somewhat due to the influences of his then best friend Rebecca Ahn - whom he meets on his first day within the new school, Marc is swept into a lifestyle choice that seemingly full fills his cravings and longings for more.
Finding it an easier way to gain some of the celebrity lifestyle that the pair crave, the two teenagers begin to steal from the richer residents of their neighbourhood. Targeting those who are out of town, or in other ways busy, as well as enlisting the help of other students within their area - including home educated Nicki (Emma Watson) and Sam as well as over confident Chloe, the group begin to steal higher priced goods from the celebrities that they at one time adored. Targeting such big names as Paris Hilton, Megan Fox, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr and Lindsey Lohan, the group gain the persona of the Bling Ring and begin to garner notoriety for their actions. Through the naivety of not hiding their loot, and bragging about the manner in which they have gained the stolen stuff, the young people begin to loose control of what they originally planned their actions to achieve. Told from the perspective of a 'Vanity Fair' article, the exploits of this most troubled group is told in full to the audience through the eyes of the respected journalist who chronicles their motives and storyline in a bookend approach to the movie. By having this concrete manner in which to deliver the plot, 'The Bling Ring' looks into the decision that the group decided in which to undertake high level crimes at such a young age.
Carrying a 'Based on True Events' style the film hits home hard with its narrative. However through a more lighthearted script, and a less than serious manner, the film manages to always entertain as well as enlighten its audience on the true facts behind the crimes. Some points may seem to be a little hard to believe, with the filmmakers taking a poetic license to the property however as a general consensus the film works within this level.
Aforementioned, the cast of this film delivers their roles to perfection, garnering a good level of humanism towards the actions depicted onscreen. Emma Watson obviously stands out from the group, mainly due to her larger screen presence and above average American accent, when taken into account her UK upbringing. Showcasing her talent for smart roles, post 'Harry Potter', the young actress once again shows her acting credentials in a role far from her norm. Well written, and equally well presented the film allows the actions to take a back seat so as to more closely follow the characters themselves. Shown in a similar manner to that of other true event movies, and holding bookcases separate narrative with regards to the staged interview by 'Vanity Fair' the film is easily followed and entertaining to watch. Perhaps not the strongest film from this talented directors back catalogue of works, 'The Bling Ring' still feels classy and enjoyable throughout its duration. In this regards the film is a success, and should be watched by audiences who crave a character driven piece based upon truth. B+