Video Review: Britney Spears “Criminal”

In London, England, at a Stoke Newington Town Hall’s annual gala, Britney Spears, wearing a gold sheer dress, turns away from the conversation with the CEO of an automotive company and his wife. As she stares at the harpist playing, her boyfriend berates her in ear, demanding for her to “smile just this once.” He adds that it’s embarrassing and presses his hands into her face. She runs off to the bathroom and he apologizes to his friends.

She wipes a tear and shakes her head as she looks into the mirror. She picks up a bottle of perfume from the counter and spritzes her neck. Walking back into the hall, she spots a young woman playing with her boyfriend’s tie. She confronts the young woman, asking “so you’re not working the street corner tonight?” He apologizes to the young woman and pulls Spears by the arm, dragging her outside. “How dare you!” he exclaims and slaps her. A second young man (Jason Trawick) calls out “Hey!”  and punches her boyfriend several times. The second young man asks her if she’s okay and she answers “yeah.” She kicks her boyfriend, saying to herself that she’s okay now. She and the second young man drive off in his motorcycle.

Spears, lit in rose-pink, dances in the hallway of a building.

Inside his flat, she sees a newspaper with his photo on it and opens one of his safety deposit boxes attached to his wall. She finds a gun and examines it in her hand while he turns on his computer. She flinches once he catches her with the gun. However, he brushes a strand of hair from her eyes and she kisses him. They have sex.

The next morning, she mouths “hey” as he brings her a cup of coffee while she sits up in bed. He kisses her on the forehead. At a store, she puts several candles in her jacket and lifts her shirt, the gun snug between the waist of her jeans. Spotting the clerk setting up a wine shelf, she points the gun to him. He runs to the cash register as she yells at him to take out all the money.

On the news, it’s reported that they are armed and dangerous. She takes off her mask as they run out of a bank. He shoves a female executive away from her SUV and they take off. Back at his flat, they have sex again.

The S.W.A.T. team leader directs his force to find their areas. They position themselves. Spears, putting on her t-shirt, sees the police on the security cameras. She and the second young man hold hands and kiss while bullets fly at them. After they have finished shooting, they inspect the flat for their bodies. The S.W.A.T. team leader reports that “the suspects have left the building.”

She and the second young man drive off in his motorcycle.

Rating: 5/5

Arm bleeding, Britney Spears finds the keys to his motorcycle on the table. The second young man grunts, holding his chest with one hand and reaching for his gun. She puts her arm around him and they stumble down the hallway.

The news report and profiles had said she was a brainwashed socialite, pressured into a life of crime to survive her captor. Her ex-boyfriend had released a statement, pleading for her safe return and adding that the second young man was disturbed.

Being a socialite had isolated her. The parties honoring local chairman and Parliament members were filled with the same men, each with a dirty secret to hide. Dalliances with several of them had led to a sexual assault and a desire to live life with a blind eye. The men enabled each other’s behavior. Her former ex-boyfriend, emboldened by his friend’s talk of the “quiet little wife” abused her openly. The men were powerful and no one said a word.

When she met the second young man, it was the first time she felt safe. The gun empowered her. Whenever she held it, she felt the power the men once had over and vowed to not let it happen. Together, she and the second young man start a robbing a series of banks.

They stop in alley and he slumps on the side of the building, his breath shallow. Her lungs constrict and a coldness washes over her body. It was the only way it could end. But at least she was free.

Director: Chris Mars Piliero  Year: 2011

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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