4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days Review – Outstandingly Disturbing Romanian Movie

(For SI Blog reader Trishna)

Mr. Bebe (to the girls): I forgot something important.

Don’t throw the fetus in the toilet. It’ll block it. Whole or in pieces.

And don’t bury it where the dogs can dig it up.

Wrap it up nicely, take a bus, get off at a high-rise, go to the 10th floor and throw it down the rubbish chute.

Understand?

We’re for unfettered abortion or as they’d say in Amreeka we belong in the Pro-Choice camp.

A fetus is not a baby.

And life does not begin at conception like those stupid Catholics and Pro-Life whackos like Bobby Jindal believe.

But try telling that to the religious dumkopfs or the political monsters that have outlawed or are desperately trying to outlaw abortion.

Severe Indictment
Set in Communist-ruled Romania in 1987 during the days of the dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is a powerful indictment of the regime, the corruption, the bureaucracy and more than anything the strict rules against abortion that could lead to long prison sentences for the abortion performer, the ones undergoing it and even the ones facilitating it.

As even you putzheads must have guessed by now, abortion is the leitmotif of this movie which centers around a young college student Gabriela “Găbiţa” Dragut (Laura Vasiliu) taking the risky, illegal steps to end her pregnancy with the active support of her roommate Otilia Mihartescu (Anamaria Marinca).

And the person they approach to undertake the illegal abortion is Mr.Bebe (Vlad Ivanov), a monster in human form preying upon the two girls in dire straits.

Sensing their vulnerable position, Mr.Bebe puts forth a horrific demand to the two girls at the hotel, a demand they can’t easily accept and a demand they can’t easily dismiss.

The story and screenplay are so powerful, compelling and taut that the acting itself assumes lesser importance.

The tension that starts some 20 minutes into the movie is skilfully maintained throughout, in the able hands of director Cristian Mungiu, who also wrote the screenplay.

But it’s our good fortune that the acting by Anamaria Marinca rises to the occasion.

To relieve the monotony of the abortion, Mungui introduces a boyfriend and a birthday party for his mother that Otilia attends.

The birthday party is one of the fine. contrasting moments with its inane discussion on stupid topics like Easter eggs, food and other mundane topics. We see Otilia sitting in a tense-trance, her expression leaving no doubt that she can’t wait to get out of this suffocating atmosphere and she doesn’t give a flying f*ck for the meringue cake her boyfriend’s mother has baked expressly for her.

As the cognoscenti would surely know it’s been an embarras de richesse for 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days as far as awards.

The movie won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, was nominated to the Golden Globes and has received a string of other accolades.

All deservedly, we might add.

Apparently, the movie was made on a shoestring budget of $794,280 dollars. Who says, you need a gazillion dollars to make a good movie. Don’t tell that to Cristian Mungiu.

The wise souls at SearchIndia.com strongly recommend 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. If you live in the U.S., you can watch it on Netflix Instant Play. As for the thieving bastards in India, need we even say more. 😉

9 Responses to "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days Review – Outstandingly Disturbing Romanian Movie"

  1. vjcool   January 28, 2011 at 1:21 am

    how about reviewing some Anime?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    One of these days.

  2. trishna147   January 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Yeah!! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    I also watched a German film called “Das Experiment” (2001), based on the Standford experiment. This one was even more disturbing than ”4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days’. Try and watch this too. It didnt get many awards/accolades like this, but its still really good. Really messes your mind as well by the end of the film :S

  3. boopalanj   January 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    hmmm…

    Hey SI, I watched “The King’s Speech”, really an excellent film. That first scene alone – which explains the importance of speech of the prince and sets context for the whole movie – just steals the heart. We (audience) feel uncomfortable, when the prince stumbles and utters – “I..received…” and could not make it any further. Nice.

    Now planning to watch “Cast away”. It’s a story of a FedEx employee whose plane crash-lands in an uninhabited island, and how he survives for around 4 years, while attempting to come back to the society. Now, for Indian movie industry – who dares produce a movie with just one character occupying most of the show – without 3 fights, 5 songs sequences (1 item number), and a clown?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: Hey SI, I watched “The King’s Speech”, really an excellent film….That first scene alone

    As you may have read, it’s picked up 12 Oscar Nominations.

    BTW, did it release in India?

    • boopalanj   January 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      May be, you can add ‘cast away’ to your review list.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Will do.

  4. Twig   January 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Coming to Tragedy, (oh, well almost)

    Have you watched Kamal Hasan’s ‘Mahanadhi’?
    Please sure do and of course review it.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: Coming to Tragedy, (oh, well almost):

    Ha, for a second, we thought you were about to say Manmadhan Ambu.

    We’ll review Mahanadhi, for sure.

  5. Aswin_Kini   January 29, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I watched Mahanadhi years back. A hard-hitting film of a family which is ruined due to a person whom they trusted.
    All I remember is that Kamal Haasan starts a chit fund, is ruined because the person whom he trusts elopes with the money and Kamal is jailed for it. The story revolves around how Kamal after serving his jail tenure finds his children who have been missing.

    The film belongs to the tragic genre and was depressing to watch. Kamal and the kid, Mahanadhi Shobana, put on some decent performances.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: A hard-hitting film of a family which is ruined due to a person whom they trusted.

    Sounds like a microcosm of India! 😉

    We’ll watch it for sure.

  6. Rajesh11   January 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I like The King’s Speech, too. Good movie.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: I like The King’s Speech, too.

    Yes, you & a few million others. 😉

  7. siddhu085   September 21, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Talking about disturbing movies, may I suggest Audition (1999)?

    Very disturbing Japanese movie. Try to watch it.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Added the Japanese movie Audition (1999) to our Netflix queue.

    Will likely watch it on Friday/Saturday.

    Surely, it can’t be more disturbing than an average Bollywood or Kollywood film. 😉

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