Sunday, June 22, 2008

4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) (2007)

College student Gabita wants to end her unplanned pregnancy, but this is 1987 Communist Romania and abortion is illegal. She asks her roommate and fellow student Otilia to accompany her. You don't actually see Gabita posing the question, but you hear Otilia utter, "Okay." This is how the movie opens. At this point, Otilia has no idea what this mere utterance will really mean. While Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) is the one seeking the abortion, Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) is the main character and her acting is so strong here, that much of it is done without words.

4 Months has no soundtrack. It is shot in long scenes that make the movie feel like one take. The story takes its time and provides ample dialogue (characteristics common in non-US films), which surprisingly keep the events, occurring in the span of one day, captivating.

4 Months doesn't get caught up in the moral issue muck, nor does it try to lighten the topic. Rather, it takes the character's decision and moves on pragmatically.  The plot moves forward with the planning steps the women (mostly Otilia) must follow, which prove to be tougher than expected. It affects Otilia's relationship with Gabita and her relationship with her boyfriend, Adi. You get the sense that her life will never be the same.

This is a tremendous, important film. It is honestly disturbing, contains some brutal scenes and the acting is so good that you, too, experience the toll the plot takes on its characters.

Themes: life under Communism, abortion, friendship

Director: Cristian Mungiu

Country: Romania

Genre: Drama

Time: 113 minutes

Scale: 5

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