Sunday, 31 May 2015

A Serbian Film

Do not watch this video.

Seriously. It's fucked up, as you can guess from the trailer.

Retired porn actor Milos (Srdjan Todorovic) has fallen on hard times. He's contacted by a former colleague and, with the promise of his family being set up for life, is coerced into to taking part in an “arts film” that turns out to be darker than he could ever imagine.

Hmm. How do I describe this film... Well, it's an endurance test for the viewer. The acting and cinematography are superb, but they're underpinned by a fairly routine story with extremely graphic themes of sex and violence. The shocks gradually become more and more perverse (I won't describe them here) as the film progresses. The final scene was also bleakly vulgar, but there are many “why”s that you'll be asking by that time (provided you get that far).

Todorovic is superb, perfectly cast as an awful parent and an easily corruptible anti-hero (in the most literal sense). The director of the arts project, Vukmir (Sergej Trifunovi) I felt was a clich├ęd psychopath character- over-the-top, too arty-farty, no charisma, the type who would never get away with any powerfully-evil acts before being spotted.

The director has hinted that there is a metaphor in the title and the story- perhaps something to do with the way the Serbian government treats its own people- although he's left it up to the audience to decide. I think most people will side with me when I suggest that if there was any meaning it was drowned out in a torrent of bloodshed and perversity.

This film made me feel physically ill and had to stop it halfway through, which has never happened before, and had to psych myself up before tackling the latter part (and it was a good job I did).

If you're curious about it and you think you have the stomach, you might find it worthwhile to watch, but if you strip away the gore it's really a simple tale of abuse and revenge. Think Hostel times a thousand.

The theme tune, though, by Serbian rapper and producer Sky Wikluh, is brilliant.

If you want to watch a really good controversial foreign film, stick with Irreversible.

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