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4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days

  • Feb 18, 2010
Pros: oustanding performance by Anamaria Marinca

Cons: none for me

The Bottom Line:
"you know you mean only harm
you reach out with your long arm"

One of the things that made 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days so compelling was the washed out look of the camera work. Had it been polished and glossy it would have detracted from the feeling of the era and the circumstances we were dealing with. The film was written and directed by Christian Mungiu and nominated for 38 awards, winning 21. Rating waffles around the high-teens area but keep in mind we are dealing with abortion here and there are also a couple of shots of female pubic area. Exterior shots, no close ups or anything like that.

The time frame is the latter part of 1980’s in Romania, which was still under the totalitarian leadership. Abortions were illegal, but obtainable for the right price. In this film we are dealing with a naive college student, Gabita Dragut, who asks her roommate, Otilia, to help her arrange an abortion. If caught they would, as well as the doctor, risk a prison term.

Otilia seems to be in a secure relationship with Adi, even to the point of dining with his family. She seems a bit more worldly than Gabita and certainly more capable to deal with the arrangements for this risky procedure. They chose a doctor based on hearsay from another student and it doesn’t turn out exactly as they expected.

The period covered in the movie is roughly a 24-hour segment in the girls lives. It is deeply steeped in deception and also in friendship. We discover Gabita may not be as naïve as she first appears but cunning. Otilia, on the other hand, is exactly what she portrays. Their meeting with Mr. Bebe, I’m not even sure he is a doctor, is a definite turning point in their relationship.

The film is slow going for the most part. A lot of waiting around and traveling from point A to point B. Add the fact it is Romanian with English subtitles, it is sometimes hard going. I am sure if you understand the spoken language the film is entirely different.

Despite the fact this was obviously a low budget film the quality of the camera work is completely professional. Extended shots and clever lighting make some of the scenes almost surreal. As far as the actors, Anamaria Marinca as Otilia definitely ruled the film. Laura Vasiliu as Gabita seemed pale and washed out by comparison. Vlad Ivanov played the part of Bebe, creepy old slag.

DVD extras were fat with an extended interview with Mungiu full of descriptive detail. Lighting director, Oleg Mutu, gives a lesson on lighting in the film and the extras end with a fervent 15 minute documentary about how they went bout promoting the film in Romania. Some people they interviewed hadn’t seen a public film for over 20 years. Incredible.

It was a strangely visceral movie that made me grateful to be born in a country without the stringent oppression shown in this film.


This is my submission to the captainD Good Movies Write-Off 3


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More 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days reviews
review by . July 05, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
4 MONTHS 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS ('4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile') is a powerful film that asks us to witness several horrors - Ceausescu's communist Romania in 1987, illegal abortion, and the extremes/abuses of friendship. Writer/director Cristian Mungiu captures one day in the lives of a few common people in Bucharest, lingering over each of the individuals just long enough to sense the terror of the moment, but continuing to move the pace of the story at a speed that capitalizes on the incidents …
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About this movie



Director: Cristian Mungiu
Genre: Drama
Release Date: January 25, 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: October 14, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 53min
Studio: Genius Products Llc
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