4 Months, 3 Weeks, And 2 Days

It was a breath of fresh air to watch this film, after previously having seen so many bad ones. After seeing this, I must say that I'm now quite interested in seeing more works from the director - Cristian Mungiu - who's a proponent of the Romanian New Wave style of film, which is fairly recent. The atmosphere is bleak, the cinematography dark, and the characters all interesting and very plausible.

The film follows two college roommates, Otilla and Gabita, in 1987 Romania, one of the final years of the Communist regime taking place in the country. While the politics of the land can be felt in the scenery of the film's landscape, this isn't the main focus point of the movie. Instead, we focus on these two young adults...the characters are the forefront of the film...where they should be.

In fact, the plot isn't even that important to the movie. If the characters remained the same, the plot could just as well as be about anything else. It's the struggles of these two women, particularly Otilla, that make this film worth watching. The performances by each of the actors are fantastic, making us feel what they feel throughout the film.

As earlier mentioned, the cinematography is simply beautiful. The camera is controlled in a very deliberate way, making each shot seem purposeful and this deliberateness adds to the beauty of the movie. The bleak streets, long corridors, and abandoned playgrounds are given this gritty, yet romantic, look that really adds to 4 Months.

If the film has a major problem, though, it's its pacing. While the film intends to leave us lingering at scenes - which it odes succeed at at points - it occasionally gives us scenes that just last far too long. The most immediate and best example of this would have to be the sequence when Otilla visits her boyfriend's parents for his mother's birthday. I got how the film was trying to say that depressed people put on a facade for others, pretending that everything's fine, and also how pointless conversations seem to be when you're agonizing. However, the film REALLY drags at this spot despite its point already being made. This occurs in a few other places as well, though not to the point of being overbearing like the birthday scene.

The themes of guilt, depression, and utter confusion are heavily prevalent in the film, as well as the film's great use of realism. Confusion is used quite well in this film, as it has our characters interrupting each other and assuming ideas based on small details, similar to the style used in the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski, though this film is vastly different in terms of concept. Guilt and depression are sown throughout the film.

Thematically dark yet beautiful, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, And 2 Days is a film that doesn't question morals, but character. After all, Otilla is only Gabita's roommate. The film does drag unnecessarily, but its beauty and realism make it an interesting and creative narrative.

8.5/10 - Great





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