I mostly value the IMDb-Rating for being pretty precise, but this time it's totally off track. Why it has been voted 1/10 so many times is beyond me. There was something to the story though that made me watch it nonetheless (usually I won't touch anything below 6/10) but with VERY little expectations though. Luckily I trusted my guts.
Based on what I've read before watching I kinda expected the usual torture-flick. And it starts exactly like that. Bah! Been there, done that! A thousand times! The cover and the title ("Yes/No, You lie, you die!") adds well to that. But there's something different...something that keeps your interest...
Sure, it's low budget. But who cares? I've seen enough flicks with tens of millions of budget but without any soul or even a nice plot.
The acting is absolutely OK, the characters are convincing, the plot is interesting, and the film keeps it tension until the end. And it even leaves you room for thinking afterward. What more does one want? If you like a film where an interesting/unconventional premise/theory is brutally put to life, go and see this flick!
So if you're expecting some nice gore/torture/blood/nudes you should probably avoid this film. If you're open to a pretty neat concept/idea you should watch it. I'd categorize it as thriller/drama/romance and as that it's a solid 7/10. Really worth watching. Could have used some polishing here and there, but nothing show stopping.
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Some words ahead: If you've never heard from Serbia or have no idea what it is or where it is, your impression of this film will probably be lower. Too many things you need to know prior to understanding all terms used, and to be honest: Who knows the political situation of Serbia then and now? Well, I was lucky enough to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of that so I didn't have to scratch my head the whole time :-)
If you leave that aside, you have a solid, dense, exciting and - for that sub-genre (skin-hooligan-drama or whatever you'd call it) - a few quite(!) novel ideas. The acting is - in my humble opinion - very good, the characters are all believable, the story is interesting although a bit short and therefore compressed, but overall very good. All characters are, if not likable, then at least understandable in their actions, which is vital for a drama to work. An open minded viewer assumed, but I guess you're not reading this if you're seeking for another comedy.
For a laughable (nowadays *sigh*) budget of 500k it's an excellent work. Hollywood doesn't even manage to release a believable porn-movie with that budget ,-)
Also I really liked that no side is taken in a shallow way. You get hit in the face by the quite decent brutality (think of the budget!), the social background and the political system (isn't it the same everywhere anyway?). The placing of real footage for less subtle shocking reasons was well placed and fit well.
This was my second Serbian film. The first one being "a Serbian film" I didn't knew if I could expect anything decent. But "Skinning" has class and is a totally serious drama. I would say that I liked this one the most of all these skin/Nazi/hooligan-flicks like "Romper Stomper" or even "Hooligans" or the lesser known works.
I usually don't write reviews, but I saw this one hasn't any but it deserves at least one good because of it's comparably low voting. Judge for yourself! If you enjoyed "Hooligans" or anything like that, you'll enjoy this one too. Well at least in the same way you could "enjoy" war-movies, you know what I mean.
For your better valuing of this review: I'm German, male, around 40, seen thousands (literally) of movies, like most genres (instead of romance, sport and most comedy) and am getting more demanding in a cinematographically way every year :)
And before I forget: If you're into violence but cannot stand naked people: There is at least one quite graphic sex-scene. So maybe skip that one :-)
From me, a solid 7,5 with a tendency upwards.
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