What makes A Serbian Film a better movie than your average torture porn flicks, a la Hostel, Saw and their numerous mutants, is that the film establishes its lead character with such sympathy and nuance that you start to care about him, despite the film’s extreme content (or perhaps because of it), so much so that the film compels you to follow Milos till the very end. Not necessarily a pleasant journey, but engrossing.
Despite you are told that the film is extreme and graphic, the first half is beguilingly simple, even touching. The film begins with a clip of a soft porn film. We see a little boy watching it on the TV. His parents arrive. They are shocked and mildly surprised. The mother switches off the TV. The father says, it’s okay, even I saw my first porn at his age.” “But that film did not star your father,” says the mother.
We are introduced to Milos’ happy family. He has retired from being a porn star and they are running low on money. We are introduced to Milos’ brother, a cop, who lusts after Milos’ wife.
One day one of his former colleagues brings him an offer. Someone wants to hire him for an ‘artistic porn’ and the money is astronomical. Milos is doubtful. Why should anyone pay him such a huge sum. But the money will help his family settle down. He meets the filmmaker in a shady villa. But there is a catch. Milos won’t be told what he would be shooting beforehand and once he signs the contract, he would have to follow the director’s orders (If this reminds you of Faust, you are right.). Milos sells his soul. He starts shooting. Slowly things start to turn bizarre. He is forced to have sex with a girl severely beaten up, with a teen-age girl in school uniform watching.
After a few days, Milos cannot take it anymore. He talks to the director and wants out. To convince him, the director shows him a film — this is where the extremes begin, this scene being the most extreme of all (it’s new born porn, shouts the director; the scene is too bizarre to describe in words).
Milos is disgusted and he walks out. As he continues to drive, he realises that he is horny. Why? Cut to the next scene and we see Milos on his bed, all bloody and bruised, 24 hours later. What happened?
Beyond this point, see the film at your own peril. You have been warned.