Sunday, March 3, 2013

Frumpy Life

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) - Mungiu
4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days photo 1cb8c158-187a-4636-93d7-3197a4c58437_zps22c316b4.jpg
4 Months tells a story about Otilia (Anamaria Marinca), a college student, who is trying to help out her roommate Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) getting a sketchy illegal abortion. The messy, frumpy dorm life is presented matter of factly. There are class tensions and general hopelessness of living under communist regime. The acting is superb, so as layered interactions among the film's inhabitants. Christian Mungiu is a gifted storyteller. He also understands nitty-grittiness of everyday lives of his characters. It doesn't really matter whether his film takes place in the 80s under Ceausescu regime or in a monastery in a present day, there is always that unmistakable immediacy and urgency present- with the help of natural, handheld tracking shots and long takes throughout. And thankfully, Mungiu is not quick to judge his characters decisions or faults nor is he interested in being didactic. These judgment calls young people make under difficult circumstances are all relatable one way or another. He is very good at humanizing their faults but also great at not overly emphasizing heroism that only happens in movies. Hey, if Otilia was my girl, she's alright by me.