A Serbian Film (Spoilers!)
Oh man, oh man, how far can too far go???? Well, A Serbian Film is how far it can go, and then some. This is extreme cinema with a capital E. Fuck, to say i am unsettled by this is an understatement, i was left shocked, disturbed and quite literally shaking after surviving this vicious onslaught. If you are going to see this, be warned it is NOT an easy film to watch, and i guarantee that this will never EVER see the light of day with the BBFC.Never!!!! There is no way on this great Earth that the BBFC will allow this into the UK market, not a chance in hell!! You thought Irreversible was disturbing? You found Martyrs hard to watch? Trust me, if you struggled with them, then stay well clear of this!
There is one big question i kept asking myself. How far can Art go,i mean really, how far can you push so called Arty extreme films until they become something more? A Serbian Film has pushed the boundaries no other film has had the balls to do. But since this is an Art film, and there is no question that this is Art, is it really acceptable to go this far? If Eli Roth did this he would be shot. A Serbian Film has some meanings in there, it is thought out and put together like a proper film, this is no horror, its something new, a whole new type of film. Its an assault, plain and simple, and hiding somewhere behind the attack is a message trying to get out, i think?
Now, Milos is a retired porn star, the best in the business apparently. He now lives a happy life with his lovely wife and young son. A scene near the beginning raises the question about sex education at school, should it be taught at a younger age or not? Milos son is in the living room watching one of his Dads hardcore porn films when his Dad walks in and is not bothered and believes his son needs to learn about these things, the Mum thinks otherwise. Anyway, this leads to a scene later on, in the woods where his Dad, in a round a bout way, explains to his son how to stimulate yourself. A comical moment see’s his son start to reach down, only for his Dad to quickly stop him. The relationship is healthy and the whole family have a strong love for each other. You may think, from what i just said, that the Dad is a bit of a prat. Well, actually he isn’t. He’s a normal guy who was blessed with the ability to last a lot longer and get an errection without needing to be stimulated or even have visuals. As he is told later on, he has a gift
So, the happy family except his former job, and the wife is happy when work comes along, and even joins him in watching some of his films. Milo’s brother is a cop who is a close friend to both his brother, and his brothers wife. In fact, it would be safe to say he is jealous of how Milo has a perfect life with a gorgeous wife and a great ability to last for ages during sex. Close friends as they are, you can see there is something going on in his head that doesn’t quite fit, and a scene where he is eyeing up Milo’s wife, you worry he actually might attack her. Anyway, Milo meets with a former porn star who has an offer for him. A director by the name of Vulkmir is directing a never before style of porn film for some exclusive clients. The director is offering a huge payment, one that will set up Milo and his family for life. Milo is not sure as he is not told the story of anything about what he will be doing, however after a talk with the wife, he signs the contract. He asks his brother to do some digging and it turns out Vulkmir has worked alot with children in orphanages, is highly educated, has worked as a counsellor and also some jobs for the government. He would appear to be a clever man indeed.
Once we get to the film being made things all seem to be ok, but slightly off. The way the director works is a bit strange and unsettling, having what seem to be policemen walking round with cameras capturing the action, as Milo is told what to do in his ear piece. He is disturbed by the presence of a young girl watching as he performs sex acts and decides to pack it all in. This is where the film turns really nasty, and i mean nasty. So far we have been blessed with superb acting giving a real sense of realism to the film. You grow to really like Milo, and i personally found the director fascinating. However, that fascination soon turned to panic as he shows Milo a video to prove what he is really trying to do with his arty porn film. If you are easily offended, look away now! A video shows a woman giving birth, and then one of the directors brutal henchman pulling down his pants and, well, the baby screams in a way that will chill your soul and probably give you sleepless nights. If you have just eaten, you will probably bring it all up. This scene is one of the most horrific things i have ever seen, and what makes it worse is that there is even worse to come! The director is telling us that he is making a point that we are all victims, and that he and his films have the power the change the way people think and make them stand up for themselves. Milo, it would seem, is not a victim which is why he wanted him so badly.
Things then get really bad as Milo makes a run for it and later wakes up covered in blood. As he attempts to find out what happened to him, why he’s covered in blood and where the fuck his wife is, we join him in this journey of madness that goes literally into hell! He was drugged with an incredibly powerful does of Viagra and we now have to sit through forty odd minutes of some of the most disturbing scenes ever created. I shall not go into the details but i have never, ever seen anything like it. I felt physically sick, however, i found myself on the edge of my seat wanting to find out just what the hell went on over those few days. There is an incredible amount of porn in this film, way too much for it ever to get an 18 certificate. However, the violence is just horrific. I mean, when a girl who is tied up after having her teeth removed, is then choked to death on a mans erect penis, you start to question if you should be watching this film at all. Many many times i was deeply unsettled, but what keeps this film from being trashy and snuff like is its excellent production. Much like Martyrs, you can see a lot of care has gone into this, the director clearly wanted to upset his viewers, but for a reason, and not just to do it for fun. As Milo walks the streets high on Viagra and wanting to literally fuck anything that moves, you feel it with him. And seeing half naked girls on their way home from a night out, porn magazines on the shelves of a shop, a giant billboard poster with a naked girl wearing knee high socks, you begin to wonder, is there too much sex in today’s climate? Could this be the reason people go out and rape etc? If you were a person who really needed it badly, and weren’t right in the head, then all this advertising using sex is only gonna make matters worse. This just may be a point the director is getting at?
He is also getting at the lengths people will go to in order to have a happy life and have enough money to survive in today’s world of debt. And he also, powerfully shows what can happen to a family who have gone through something so bad that they give in. In a way its like Martyrs, posing questions that clearly, amidst all the chaos, you’d miss on first watch. This is a vicious film, really vicious, but there is something there, a moral meaning.
If you can survive to the end, then you are a strong person. But there is one trick left, well, actually two. What i believed was the end, i mean, i thought holy crap that is bad, is disturbing, and i mean incredibly disturbing. There is a twist which i thought i saw coming, however, it turned out even worse than i originally thought. I actually nearly threw up. The director strikes a vicious blow that really kicks, and then you seriously do question watching this film. Anyone who said they actually enjoyed it, first time, will have to have something seriously wrong with them. I cannot describe how i felt watching what happened as Milo finally gets the sex he so desperately needs thanks to the drugs. But once we think that is it, no more please, a final scene leaves you utterly cold, utterly shaken and i am so glad it stopped there. For Mr Gillespie, i believe what happened to the new born was about to happen again, to prove no one is impervious to being a victim.
A Serbian Film is no way an easy watch, but its a clever film and its directed and acted well. Its effects are a little too good at times, which make it even more unsettling. I will have to say tho, it is a quite brilliant film, if you can take it, and one which, like Martyrs, i believe a true meaning will come from a second viewing, if you can do it. So, for the fact it is actually very very good i shall award this horrific masterpiece the following
[pt-filmtitle]A Serbian Film[/pt-filmtitle]