Sunday, July 13, 2008

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Damn but this movie was difficult to watch. Well, there was just one long scene that was really difficult and I felt sad the rest of the movie because of it. But at the same time, it was perversely a pleasure to watch too because the lead actress, Anamaria Marinca, who played the character Otilia, was so fantastic. The story is set in 1980s Romania during totalitarian rule, and follows a pregnant girl (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days pregnant to be exact) trying to have an illegal abortion with the help of her friend, Otilia. Otilia is a much stronger and cannier person than her pregnant friend, Gabita, and manages the details of the abortion on the day of the event, getting things done despite errors in judgement and planning, and misrepresentations on the part of Gabita. While the movie never directly refers to the totalitarian regime, there is evidence everywhere - the ominipresent ID cards and bureaucratic mindset of the older folk, the bustling blackmarket barter system in the student dorms, the drained look on everyone's faces. Even Otilia, who shows the most spark and life of all the characters shown, seems on the verge of breaking at times. It is Otilia who sees through to the heart of things, through her boyfriend and his family and the system itself. Despite weathering grueling events she puts herself back together and one has faith that she will come out ahead in the end.

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