The Real Bling Ring review: Netflix’s hackneyed true crime show revisits series of heists that stunned Hollywood


In the now-obligatory opening sizzle-reel of The Real Bling Ring, a prosecutor describes the story that we’re about to look at as ‘a f**ked up LA Greek tragedy’. I used to be hooked instantly. In this story, she says, the defendants wished to be well-known, their legal professionals wished to be well-known, and the cops concerned wished to be well-known. “It’s something that could only happen in Hollywood,” she provides wryly, solely half-registering that she, too, is on digicam.

The three-part Netflix true crime documentary revisits the notorious serial burglaries that had been beforehand dramatised in director Sofia Coppola’s 2013 movie The Bling Ring. The movie offered a reasonably fictionalised model of the crimes, which had been perpetrated by a gang of fame-hungry youngsters who broke into and robbed the homes of celebrities who, by means of sheer dangerous luck, discovered themselves on the peak of the Hollywood A-list in 2008. Merely a look on the checklist of their targets — Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Audrina Patridge — might make you instinctively scrounge round for the BlackBerry that hasn’t been in your pocket for over a decade.

Unlike the movie, The Real Bling Ring ostensibly presents one thing nearer to the reality, though it has nice enjoyable pitting two members of the ‘Bling Ring’ — Nick Prugo and Alexis Neiers — towards one another. Nick and Alexis narrate conflicting variations of the occasions in their very own phrases, and episode two options an electrical scene through which they contradict one another’s claims in real-time. They aren’t in the identical room — they most likely hate one another — however that doesn’t cease the documentary from fanning the flames.

But along with these slickly edited sequences, designed purely to set tongues wagging, the series additionally takes the occasional stab at profundity. While making an attempt to dissect a really specific interval within the historical past of superstar tradition, The Real Bling Ring has the audacity to recommend that the case set the ball rolling down a path that would finish with Donald Trump being elected president.

This was the period of MySpace and BBM, of TMZ and actuality tv. Beneath the show’s shiny exterior, there’s a story concerning the class divide and upward social mobility; of fame for fame’s sake and simply how prepared persons are to promote their souls for it. The ringleader Nick was a queer teen from The Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles that one smarmy actual property agent describes within the series because the place folks go to if they’ll’t afford to dwell in LA. Alexis, however, was thrust right into a extremely seedy life at a really younger age by her opportunistic stage mother.

The debauchery on show, particularly within the first episode, is kind of gorgeous. Attempting to ape Kim Kardashian’s path to fame, Alexis’ mom turned her right into a pinup mannequin by faking her age. At 17, Alexis was dancing bare in a Marilyn Manson music video with an eight-ball of cocaine ready for her within the greenroom. While an aura of tragedy hangs over each minute of The Real Bling Ring, Alexis’ story, which entails extreme drug dependancy and abuse, is sadder than Nick’s. There’s a powerful sense that, along with the folks she robbed, she, too, is a sufferer. And regardless of the sobriety and stability that she has now allowed into her life, it seems that she nonetheless isn’t prepared to come back to phrases with what occurred.

But for all his seen sociopathy, Nick comes throughout as fairly simple. He shows zero regret for his actions, and once in a while, nearly seems to be reminiscing concerning the crimes like a has-been film star wanting again at his glory days in showbiz. He describes the cocaine that he as soon as discovered at Paris Hilton’s home as actual ‘Scarface coke’. Later, whereas recounting the occasions main as much as one other housebreaking, he says that he made certain to be in management of his colleges. “I was more drunk than normal, so I did a bit of coke and sobered myself up,” he says with a straight face, earlier than being hit by the absurdity of his phrases.

Nick is ‘bothered’ that Coppola’s film made Alexis out to be the ringleader, a notion that was exacerbated by Emma Watson’s casting as Alexis. From the second folks noticed Watson within the movie’s trailer, in a second that contributed to a whole technology’s coming of age and has since been immortalised in GIF type, there was little question that she was the star of the show. Except that she wasn’t. Alexis participated in only one theft, we’re informed.

The Real Bling Ring doesn’t fairly glamorise its shady topics in the best way that The Wolf of Wall Street did, however it doesn’t make any radical observations concerning the decline of tradition both. Your enjoyment of will probably be straight proportional to your urge for food for nicely-packaged junk.

The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist
Director – Miles Blayden-Ryall
Rating – 3.5/5

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