Saturday, April 18, 2015

Indie Review: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

                                 
       
          A Subtle Thriller That Is Intense Yet Still Goes On '4' Almost Too Long
 

        Story:
        4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days follows the story of two college students, Otilia and Gabita (Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu), who decide to arrange an abortion for Gabita. The rest of the film follows how their fateful decision slowly starts to unravel.

       Ups:
      I'll start off with the performances. Anamaria Marinca is a rather quiet powerhouse as Otilia, who serves as a flustered yet loyal friend as well as nervous young woman caught up in a situation beyond her grasp. Laura Vasiliu is also outstanding as the more naive yet equally anxious Gabita. Both actresses really bring the various facets to their characters to life and work quite well off of each other.

      Next, I'll get into the direction by Cristian Mungiu. I liked how he managed to always let the camera roll and focus on the actors while still giving them a lot of breathing room even though watching the film is a rather tense experience. Not only that, but because the film has more limited settings, it is given a more claustrophobic feel.

     I also liked how Mungiu manages to incorporate different facets to his screenwriting as it is a topical film that isn't judgmental of its subject matter, nor is it one-sided, and it is a film about the bond of friendship that demonstrates two young people who are caught in a more adult situation, seemingly unaware of the severity of it.

     Downs:
     Honestly, I thought some of the use of long takes had the film dragging at times to the point where my eyes would wonder. At other points, the use of long takes worked pretty well, but other times, it didn't like in a scene where Otilia is having dinner with her boyfriend and his family.

     Consensus:
     Overall, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is an incredibly layered look at abortion that, despite its uneven pacing, manages to feature stellar performances from the cast mixed with less judgmental social commentary.

     Would I Recommend It?:
     Not to everybody. As I said, it gets very slow at times and might not please those that hate reading subtitles.

Grade: B