This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
At what moment do we begin to live?
Gabita is pregnant, abortion is strictly forbidden in Romania during the communist regime. Despite this it is common practice and Gabita wants an abortion. The movie follows her and her friend Otilia during the day she has made the appointment with Mr. Bebe to have the abortion.
It's deftly realistic, stark and emotionally shattering, but the biggest accomplishment of writer-director Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is its illumination of how the simple flourishes are often the hardest hitting ones. Each scene is set in one take; no cuts or fancy shots permeate the unflinchingly harrowing story. Only the camera lingers on this raw and real series of movements to let unfold its simplistic narrative almost like a book, and the reward in it is astounding.
For a film dubbed the abortion movie, it couldn't be further from this simple definition. At its main conflict nearing the halfway point this becomes finally spoke of and terribly hard to watch as an illegal one is…
By chance, I am watching this on Mother's Day. I make no apologies.
This film contains three stunning moments of sacrifice (well, more, really, but three that stood out). The first is when Otilia sleeps with the abortionist for Gabita (who then also sleeps with him). It's a disgusting moment, as the man forces a woman in a moment of pure vulnerability to pleasure him, despite being entirely off-camera. It's the most gut-churning moment of the entire film. It's also the moment that makes it clear how the anti-abortion laws fully put women at the power of men, making it as sleazy and direct as possible.
The second moment is when Otilia goes to her boyfriend's house, despite her awful…
After the fall of Communism in 1989 Romania & a decade of struggle due to the post-revolution after-effects, a new breed of filmmakers started what soon turned out to be the resurgence of Romanian films in world cinema that has greatly impressed the film critics & viewers around the world over the course of the new millennium. And leading this cinematic wave & the most notable testament to Romania’s renaissance & steady prominence in today’s film world is none other than director Cristian Mungiu’s sociopolitical drama, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days which not only qualifies as arguably the finest film that Cinema of Romania has offered us so far but is also one of its decade’s most accomplished, powerful & haunting works of cinematic…
Students Otilia and Găbița share a room in a Romanian village. The latter appears, at the beginning of the films, to be pregnant and the former is busy trying to arrange an illegal abortion to help her friend. She rents an hotel room where a doctor will perform the operation, but things turn out more complicated than planned, especially as the baby is not two months in development, as Găbița claimed, but well over four (as the title suggests). 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days won Best Foreign Language awards all over the globe and, to top it all, the prestigious Palme d’Or as well and that in one of the strongest years of modern cinema. Those accolades are…
Winner of the prestigious Palme d'Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days is set in the final years of Communist Romania and tells the story of two young students named Otilia & Gabita, who are trying to transact an illegal abortion for the latter. When a doctor volunteering to do the then-forbidden job finally comes up, their hope is kindled but once his real motive surfaces, it results in a catastrophic incident that ends up changing the lives of both girls & their friendship, forever.
The plot is very silently structured & cleverly executed while the script maintains an effortless naturalness to keep the drama plausible and writer-director Cristian Mungiu has done a fabulous job in both…
This is punishing and unforgiving cinema made without apology. There was nowhere to hide for the average Romanian citizen in 1987 and we are punished with the same rough treatment. Except we have the option to turn away without burden safe in the knowledge that we don't have to sacrifice our own identity in order to get though the ordeal.
Cristian Mungiu's long takes are a challenge to see which of us blink first. There are long moments of reflection and uncomfortable silences that feel truly suffocating at times. It can't be said we don't know where to look in these moments because we have no options. Our eyes are forced into the same condensed…
Every shot in a constant state of evolution.
update: apparently i watched this in the wrong aspect ratio because of the dvd netflix sent me and imdb incorrectly listing it as 1.85:1. would have just waited for the criterion edition if i had known that but still really good
In terms of film-making prowess, one would have to make the assertion that this is in fact a great film. Would I ever watch it again? Not likely.
I'm not opposed to dark material, and in fact I am typically drawn to films that delve deeply the blackest of the black. A story centered on a female helping her friend obtain an abortion in communist Romania isn't the stuff of Disney. It's deliberately paced, very meticulous, and is for the most part devoid of any kind of cinematic style. The film strives to establish and maintain hard-set realism, and on that front it succeeds.
Unfortunately, I'll be damned if I couldn't really enjoy it on any level other than the film-making. For me, this is absolutely one of those viewing experiences that is easy to admire, but hard to love.
Not often can a drama build tension as well as this. Painfully realistic look at their society. Kept me on edge; like at any moment something was gonna pop off. Well directed and acted.
Sólo puedo decir que siempre el Renault 12 me pareció el auto mas feo de la historia ahora aparte la odio
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A film you’ll truly never un-see. This is a very powerful story about a woman getting an illegal abortion in 80’s Romania and damn, it has some tough scenes. The focal point of the film isn’t what you’d think, it’s more or less a character study of Otilia and her suffering of deep anxiety she’s having which really gets under your skin at times. The film focuses on the highly emotional levels of Otilia’s mind and the frustration she faces throughout the runtime.
The clash of Otilia’s anxiety is met with Gabita’s desperation and this causes a lot of stress and tension between the characters as well as us, the audience. We see characters make mistakes and suffer those consequences.…
This (in)famous "Romanian abortion movie" is so much more than just an abortion movie. It's a horror/thriller/drama about life under an oppressive political system and the difficult decision-making processes thrust upon people—and it achieves it's effects with visceral cinematic restraint, challenging mise-en-scene, and uncomfortable perspective, which is both natural and forced.
But yes, it's also an abortion movie, and as such it is as affecting and heartbreaking as any account could possibly be, doing so without being overtly political in its aims. There are both pro-life and pro-choice tropes to be unearthed here and they're both given adequate attention and care, but both dissolve under the emotional weight of the people involved here. Ultimately, this "Romanian abortion movie" works because it's more about the people than the abortion and that in and of itself is a political statement worthy of being expressed.
You know what we're going to do? We're never going to talk about this, OK?
Horror. For me 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is an horror movie. The never ending takes combined with the gloomy atmosphere and the way too creepy Mr. Bebe only keep giving me the creeps. That Mr. Bebe is one crazy sociopath. What he demands of Otilia and Gabita is simply disgusting. How he acts after that: like it's normal or that it never happened... creepy and horrific. The movie principally uses long takes for each scenes, no quick cuts, and that is simply perfect. You can feel the tension in those never ending takes. Two scenes are particularly impeccable. The meeting with Mr.…
Very tough, extremely powerful watch.
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