Archive for the Recent Releases Category

Recent Releases – 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

Posted in Recent Releases with tags , , , , , , on August 4, 2008 by themoviecult

Directed by: Christian Mungiu
Starring: Laura Vasiliu, Anamaria Marinca

In the 1980’s in Romania, abortions are illegal. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days centres on Otilia (Anamaria Marinca), a young student who is helping her friend, Gbia (Laura Vasiliu), have an abortion. Otilia is forced to question her values and decide how far she is willing to go to help a friend out.

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days is, emotionally, a potent film. The main characters go through a range of emotions as they deal with breaking the law and acting outside of their moral framework – in more ways than just the dilemma of terminating a foetus. All the while, the minor characters both influence and are influenced by the decisions of the main characters. Really complex, and effective storytelling.

Writer and director, Christian Mungiu, has a great shooting style. At crucial moments, his scenes are silent and tense. His takes are often long, and complex. The camera is a little shaky – all of the motion is freehand – but this only adds to the atmosphere, tension, and increases viewer involvement.

The filming style naturally requires talented actors, because the camera relentlessly sticks with the characters when things get tense. They’re followed closely, their every reaction caught. The actors’ performances are excellent, pretty much without exception. It is hard not to have any empathy for the main characters – or in one case to loathe them.

This is a character orientated piece, and it’s subtle at times. If you can’t stand a slowly paced character driven drama, this one might not be for you. It does, however, feature great performances and is handled by a writer/director with talent.