4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days



There's a mesmerizing scene midway through 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (4/5). An illegal abortion is about to be done but there is cringing and paranoiac disillusionment among the three people in the hotel room. You're on the edge of panic as you see 3 characters on the brink of killing a fetus and taking a chance for the sake of not having a kid. This is clearly not Juno, nor is it the Hollywood world of Knocked Up. It's real life and never has an abortion been this real and hard to watch on screen. Kudos to Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, working with handheld camera and giving his unflinching movie -winner of last year's Palme D'or at Cannes- an unforgettable feel. Talking about Juno and Knocked Up, I wasn't a big fan of their quirky melodramatic worlds, that had cartoon fabrications instead of real people and took the topic of female pregnancy as a kind of joke -mistakenly perceived by critics and audiences as mature portraits of the female psych. Mungiu's film doesn't fall inside that trap and instead of putting some light humor in his film, suffocates it with pulse pounding tension and seriousness.

Set in 1987 Romania, where Abortions are illegal to the communist regime. A friendship is tested as a 5 month pregnant girl wants an abortion and gets it through the help of a loyal friend that would almost do anything to assist her. The abortionist is a sleazy fella that gets paranoid by almost any movement or word said. the scene is as tense and revelatory as any in the film and is in fact the whole centerpiece that bring A and B together. Mungiu comes out as a singular director operating with no strings attached and evolving a master at his craft in more ways than one. You'd think that what is actually being watch is a documentary and not a fictitious movie. Mungiu pursues the virtues of what it is to live- love, happiness, death & panic, sheer and utter panic. That panic is the unsettling truth that reigns among this compulsively watchable movie's running time.

There is however one scene that is so absurd and so overdone that it almost ruins the film- but doesn't. It's a scene that has the main character sitting on a dinner table silently as the people around her jabber along and in the process annoy the viewer. It's a sort of experimental scene to try and convey a time and place and -suffice to say- suffocate the viewer with cringing suspense of what is the aftermath of a girl that is sitting alone in a hotel room, after having had a stressful abortion. It is almost impossible to describe Mungiu's film and its affects in a movie review, it is best to be watched and carefully constructed in a way that it lingers in your head long after its final scene has finished and you are left completely stunned and needing air, because you have just witnessed 100 minutes of pure and utter life on the screen. This is art.

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