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Serbis : Underground Movie Review

This film, as we all know, is a Cannes-nominated film this year. It has been shown on the airwaves recently and have been billed as the next big one for local films. So does Serbis deliver with all of the hype?

Serbis is a film about an old theater and the Pineda family that runs it. The setting is reminiscent of those cinemas (showing old local porno films) that we see a lot in Recto and Cubao. You know, those that no one would really dare enter and have been shown a lot before in the news. The whole film, as we observed, is a snapshot of the lives of everyone running the theater (from the lola to the gays and, god-forbid, heterosexual guys who do "serbis"); the film focuses on them for exactly a day.

For the film, our verdict is that it was so-so; it's not for everyone. We do not deem it inadequate but we believe it could actually alienate the regular movie goer. The film is more of an art film at heart. It was really subtle in its delivery of the different components and people of the theater. It was effective in showing how complex life really is and how hard it is for most Filipinos to earn a living to the point of men selling their dignity to other men. Serbis is a social snapshot of our country, its people and its different vices, cons and anomalies in its society. It fails because Serbis is a snapshot and nothing else. It lacked the delivery, the development that most people crave for. We were left hanging with so many questions in mind as the film ended suddenly. Brillante's brilliance, we do not really see here.



Rating : 3 reels




Why you should watch it :
- a look at the sad reality of some people in our society
- a very realistic and graphic film (with all nudities and quirks in there)
- you are socially-inclined
- indie-film fan

Why you shouldn't watch it :
- lack of character and story development; it is literally a snapshot
- no-nonsense movie viewers.


P.S.
Film is rated R. Not everyone is permitted to watch this film especially the wee ones. We're quite sure that it is currently being shown in Robinson's Galleria and Gateway. Just check your nearest theater if they are showing it there.
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