Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Movie Review: 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a Romanian film getting rave reviews. It tells the story of Gabita Dragut, a college student getting an illegal abortion with the help of her roommate Otilia in the late 80s. It opens during the morning of and shows their life in the dorm while they prepare by doing mundane things like trading with neighbors, packing, booking a hotel room, etc. This is what life in a dysfunctional communist society was like.

Gabita is one of the most inept people ever presented on film. She's incapable of performing even the simplest task for herself, by herself. Fortunately she has Otilia to help her. Everyone should have a friend like Otilia.

The film has very long shots, often concentrating on the banal, such as the conversation at a dinner party Otillia's boyfriend's family is throwing. The camera often didn't move even after the shot was over, most obviously in a scene when Otillia catches a bus. It stays focused on an overpass long after she's out of the shot. Also, several things the camera concentrated on, never became relevant again. The result is a verisimilitude not commonly found in films.

The film is not judgmental and merely tries to show events as they might have happened. Certainly some of the characters deserve to be judged. There are some very difficult aspects to the story. Not to give anything away but I was expecting even worse. I think the point is to compare the first scene to the last and note the effect of the events.

I saw it with a group of people and while we all thought it was a fine film, none of us understood why so much lavish praise is given to it.

1 comment:

Roman said...

"The film has very long shots, often concentrating on the banal, such as the conversation at a dinner party Otillia's boyfriend's family is throwing. The camera often didn't move even after the shot was over, most obviously in a scene when Otillia catches a bus. It stays focused on an overpass long after she's out of the shot. Also, several things the camera concentrated on, never became relevant again. The result is a verisimilitude not commonly found in films."

Ahh... love such things. Often found in european movies.