‘A Serbian Film’ leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth. The debut film by 'Srdjan Spasojevic' is growing in notoriety for its controversial scenes, banned in most places (including the USA) and released in the UK with over 4 minutes of cuts by the British Board of Film, the most cuts in 16 years.
The film follows an aging pornstar hired to star in a new 'art film', that descends into the dark, depraved world of underground pornography. I DO NOT recommend that anyone watch this film. But as a reviewer I will give my critique of what I watched; the film is actually pretty well made, there’s some good camerawork and editing, the acting by the main cast is mostly solid and it sustains threat and builds tension.
BUT, the films plot is constructed to allow shock tactic sequences for the sake of it, anyone looking for a deeper reasoning from the films horrid finale is giving the film more credit than it deserves. ‘A Serbian film’ is a repugnant piece of vile, hateful filmmaking. The unnerving ending made me feel quite sickened, I’m an open-minded fan of the weird and disturbing and I believe in freedom of expression, but this went too far. A nasty piece of exploitive work.
I've seen way more graphic films (Districted), I've seen films with more sex and violence (Baise-Moi). I've seen films with more thought provoking impact (Irreversible). And I've seen films with more brutal endings; 'Dancer In The Dark' left me feeling destroyed by its stunningly powerful finale, yet it managed to do so without sickening me with unnecessary imagery. 'Dancer in the Dark' is brutal in a different way and that to me is true 'art'. In the end, it's the tone, delivery and themes that make 'A Serbian Film' just plain nasty. Any deep message or moral hidden within does not give it artistic merit enough to redeem it.
If you still have some sort of morbid fascination about watching this film, remember; what has been seen, cannot be un-seen. Unless you want to feel violated, don’t watch it.