Saturday, 7 July 2018

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Set in 1980's Romania where the communist dictatorship ruled with an idealistic iron fist, contraception and birth control had been outlawed for the good of ensuring population increase. Abortion carries a death penalty, ironically! The story centres around two girls, friends at university, and the events relating to one of them having got pregnant and arranging a 'back street' (well, hotel, actually) abortion involving a risk-taking and unscrupulous (apparently) unqualified conductor of such deeds.

The film is shot in a dark, understated and bleak manner by director Cristian Mungiu and acted by the three leads in a taut and gruesome way. The atmosphere and situation reeks of desperation, suspicion, fear, abuse, deceit and corruptness. It's a gritty drama which closes in on the emotions and sadness that the girls find themselves experiencing and depicts the lengths that they're prepared to go to in order to achieve the goal.

Sometimes graphic but more often not, suggestion and potential plays a huge part in any suspense. The pregnant Gabita played by Laura Vasliu supports the lead Otilia depicted by Anamaria Marinca. They both play their parts admirably and demonstrate some of the terror in their actions and faces which is clearly haunting them, dealing with their plight. Vlad Ivanor plays Bebe the abortion-giver and adds to the haunting theme and bleakness of the storyline. In a Mike Leach kind of way, I'd recommend this, but beware - it doesn't often feel anything like entertainment but rather a sad reflection of human desperation.

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