A Serbian Film (2010)
What can be said about this film? One of the most controversial of all time? Makes The Human Centipede look like A Bug’s Life? There are many adjectives that I and many others could use to describe this movie. Few would be explicitly positive, most disgusted or outraged. Then we come to the small middle ground where they were as horrified and repulsed as everyone else, but admired the sheer guts it would have taken to make this movie and stand behind it; this is where I reside.
A Serbian Film centres on washed up porn star Milos (Srdjan Todorovic) who was once the super stud of the scene but has now been reduced to a has-been with a dwindling bank balance and an ever more depleted legacy. When he meets with independent movie director Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovic) regarding an appearance in his new art movie, he is wary at first but then accepts after being tempted by cold hard cash. This is the catalyst for what would potentially be some of the most disturbing and uncomfortable fiction that’s ever been committed to screen.
I won’t give too much away. I’m sure you are already much too intrigued or you wouldn’t be here. If you do decide to take the plunge and watch it, it must be with a rigorous maturity. The film is not a pleasant one, with brutal scenes that are often hard to watch and incredibly marginal. Seeing people being killed is one thing but the prevalent sexual abuse and perversion that is the bread and butter of this movie is quite another; the reams of outraged reviews demonstrate this.
The film is actually very well directed, written and acted with a very compelling story that you might place with Memento or Fight Club in tone (without the coarse sexual overtones that is). It’s pretty tough to see or even enjoy all these great qualities, but once you move past the initial scandalised reaction, which many simply cannot do, you may start to see a glimmer of merit in the film that I believe was crafted with great care. People could argue to the cows come home whether this movie is packed with metaphors and suggestion or if it’s just a transparent attempt to appall its audience; I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
I would never tell anyone not to watch a movie. It’s always an individual’s choice, but proceed with caution. You may regret watching this and once seen, it cannot be unseen.
Score: (a diplomatic) 333/666
Video sourced from YouTube