Film review: SERORI by Pedro Collantes

It's impossible to read the synopsis for SERORI without being attracted to it: 'There is always a first time for everything, even for celery.' A suggestive sentence that describes perfectly -and weirdly- the fourth short film by the Spanish and European Short Pitch former participant Pedro Collantes. SERORI, which means 'celery' in Japanese, is an interesting exercise about first experiences and revenge that plays with the elements of drama as well as comedy. 

In a small town in Japan, Kamei San, a 60-something-year old lady, elicits an encounter with Manabu Kun, a naïve and love- inexperienced 31-year-old man who still plays with video games. She asks him to give her a ride and he agrees. They end up eating celery in the car, facing the sea, very close to the place she used to go with his father for their secret love encounters. However, her lover abandoned her and since then, she has never been in love again. Driven by loneliness, longing and revenge, Kamei San throws herself at Manabu Kun, sensually and ruthlessly. 

A vengeful rapist and a naïve youngster: the film has all the elements to build a good melodrama, the only difference being that having a 60-year old woman as the perpetrator creates an interesting effect of bittersweet comedy. Here, Collantes uses celery as a trigger for conflict: the vegetable was known amongst the Romans as an aphrodisiac. This gives us a preview of what's to come, about the hidden interest of this woman, friendly in appearance, but corrupted by years of neglect and loneliness.

Co-produced between Japan, Spain and the Netherlands and using a very interesting cinematography by the Japanese Hisayuki Sato, the most interesting aspect of SERORI is, perhaps, how it uses melodramatic elements that, once inverted, transform the film in a strange comedy with an unexpected outcome.

Author: Lucía Ros Serra*


Director: Pedro Collantes

Year: 2014

Run time: 15'

Genre: Fiction

Country: Spain

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*Every day Cineuropa Shorts, in collaboration with Nisimazine and Lago Film Fest (18-26 July), offers you film reviews and interviews made in Lago by the brilliant Nisimazine’s team of young journalists.

19 July 2014, by Nisimazine