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Shocking content but well made
A Serbian Film (DVD)
Member Name: kissandmakeup
A Serbian Film (DVD)
Advantages: Shocking, unusual, well shot, poignant
Disadvantages: If you are easily upset this will very much upset you!
I have been intrigued by this film for a while, I love horrors and thrillers and all sorts of strange films and the moment someone tells me a film is shocking I feel that I have to see it, just to see if it really can shock me.
Following watching it I would say that whilst the content is shocking and there were a couple of bits that were difficult to watch, personally I wasn't absolutely horrified by it, which I feel is due to the way the film is made and the fact that it is supposed to be awful - it isn't horror (if that it what you would call it) for the sake of it, there is a point. At the start of the DVD there was an explanation of what the film is really all about, which is basically to do with the terrible state of things in Serbia with regards to the 'powers that be' and the way that people have to live their lives in such a controlled and often unpleasant manner in current times. Without knowing much about Serbia myself I couldn't fully appreciate this but I got the general gist of it which was that the film is meant to be a metaphor that we are 'raped' by the system right from birth & throughout our whole lives, it is not to be taken literally. For this reason I was comfortable watching it - plus we must remember they are only acting after all!!
Having said all of this, if you are at all sensitive or easily offended then there is little point in watching this film! To give yopu a rough idea of what you may be offended by this film contains scenes of porn, torture, necrophilia, snuff movies and paedophilia as well as a large helping of gore. It doesn't show more than it needs to but it may well offend many people.
The story revolves around an ex porn star who is now retired and is happily living with his wife and young son. However due to serious debt problems he is tempted by an offer of making one last film which will pay him enough money to secure his family's future. The catch is that he does not know what the film is about and the director refuses top tell him as he says that knowing would spoil the film. He is clear that it will be pornographic but other than that he has no idea. He is collected by car for filming each day and is sometimes blindfolded on the way. On his first day he is dropped off at an old warehouse looking place which turns out to be an orphanage, I won't spoil it for you but basically his first day of filming is very bizarre and he starts to have doubts. After two days he asks his brother, a bent copper, to look into the background of the director and the crew, though this doesn't bring back any useful info. Eventually he decides he wants to quit the film, but this isn't as easy as it seems, as he has signed the contract the director tries all he can to convince him to continue. At this point the film takes an even sinister turn as our main guy wakes up on his bed at home covered in blood having lost a couple of days and starts to retrace his steps to find out what on earth has happened. This is done through a series of flashbacks and whilst pretty graphic and shocking it is done very well.
The ending (last ten minutes or so) is particularly disturbing. But then if you've managed to watch the rest of it that shouldn't come as too big a shock! I did wonder what the film must have been like when it was first made before the censors had been at it and a undoubtably large amount of the film had been cut out, as it is amazing that it has been allowed to be released as it is, considering some other films which have been banned.
All in all I enjoyed it, I was sufficiently shocked without being upset and I would receommend it to those of a hardened nature who enjoy watching films that are a bit different and take things one step further. It isn't that often I give a film 5 stars but for me it did exactly what it set out to do and unashamedly stuck two fingers up at political correctness and social norms along the way.
Summary: A tough story to absorb but very well made