A SERBIAN FILM (2010) Review

Directed by: Srdjev Spasojevic
Starring: Srdjev Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic

I get really excited whenever a film comes out that has everybody talking about how disgusting, depraved and fucked up it is. But every time I go and see those films I always come out of it with a feeling of disappointment. It's happened countless times with films like Cannibal Holocaust, Anti Christ, The Human Centipede, August Underground and more. It's just that by the comments and reviews I read, people seem to make these movies out to be the worst experiences in history. I guess I should learn by now not to get my hopes up, but I was still excited to see A SERBIAN FILM. Here are just a few examples of what people have said about it:

"this was probably the most disturbing movie ive ever seen. i literally couldnt sleep the night i watched it."

"Yes, I just watched the uncut version, it is some of the most wacked, sickest, shit I have ever seen"

"WTF! the disgusting pieces of shit that made this movie need to be shot, fukin horrible. they are trying to make money off of shock factor, get some real talent u sick fucks!!!!!!!!!!"

"No movie ever filmed will be disturbing to you after watching this"

And the list goes on. I'm not sure whether I'm fucked up or just desensitized after watching so many horror films. I went into this film preparing to watch the sickest, most depraved images ever seen but once again I was disappointed. The best aspects were actually the writing and the direction, and A SERBIAN FILM is actually a really well executed movie when you get down to it.

The story revolves around a retired male pornstar named Milo (Todorovic), who has quit the business and is living the quiet life with his wife and son. Then he gets an offer from an old co-star (Gavrilovic) to act in a kind of arthouse porn film, which will pay him enough money so that his family will be set for life. After meeting the eccentric director Vukmir (Trifunovic) he reluctantly agrees even though he is not told exactly what he will be doing. All he knows is that his family needs the money in order to begin a new and better life.
After filming begins, Milos is a little uncomfortable with some scenes and starts having second thoughts. Then when things become a little too weird for him, he tells Vukmir that he is backing out of the project. This however is not what the director wants to hear, and from this point on Milos' life turns into a nightmare incorporating necrophilia, paedophilia, torture and incest.

The film was written really well and the second half is shown through a series of flashbacks which I don't usually enjoy but in this case I think they worked, so you will spend a little time wondering what the fuck is happening, until it all ties together. Good character development helps you to sympathise with Milos, for even though he agreed to shoot the film his intentions are valiant and selfless.
Although the movie may be described as depraved, shocking, frightening and cruel I didn't see it as gratuitous at all. It is a very extreme film and is definitely not for everyone but I think it is worth a watch. Once again I didn't find it as bad as expected, but then again one of the things I relish in cinema is when filmmakers push the boundaries. And I guess that if I had children this probably would have affected me in an entirely different way.

So basically the film is pretty fucked up by normal people's standards. However if you are like me and enjoy something a little different, controversial and disturbing but at the same time well written and acted then you will enjoy it.

NOTE: If you are interested, Srdjev Spasojevic will be directing one of the segments for THE ABC'S OF DEATH. You can find more about that here.

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