4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
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Two College Roommates have 24 hours to make the ultimate choice as they finalize arrangements to meet a black market doctor for an illegal abortion. What follows is their harrowing descent into a world in where danger, darkness and tragedy lurk around every corner.
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This movie is a wonderful example of being able to take something that is very experience-near to people, which may seem even commonplace to some extent, and transform it into the premise of a film. The action is slow-paced and intense in a more psychologically subtle way. I think that one of the "advantages" of modern movies is that they eliminate the need to think in the audience, it becomes an exercise in detachment to see a number of explosions and violent acts that are really (for the most part) removed from our everyday experience; we can become fascinated by the bright colors and loud noises in the comfort of the theater, akin to a child discovering a bright and big world that they are in effect naive of and protected from (by the mother, as we are by the two-dimensionality of it). In films like this, which slow the pace down and familiarize the content, we are much more viscerally affected, because it becomes an exercise in human experience, something that very well could affect us, and the slowness of it forces us to pay attention to details, mundane details perhaps, that we would just assume gloss over and move on to the next explosion. But directors like this make us listen and watch that which is much closer to the heart of the human condition, something that we all-too-often lose sight of in a frenetic and results-driven world. I think a beautiful analogy to this situation occurs in the dinner scene, in which the chatter fills the room, a chatter devoid of any content that actually reaches the girl, who sits in a dazed and detached manner, while her boyfriend vacillates between the two realities, one foot in each, but in truth you cannot split your fidelity between the pain of thought and life in their most primordial forms, or the detachment and illusion of a life lived on the surface... his choice is ultimately understandable, as it would have been if it had gone the other way. The scene towards the end is a microcosm of the search of how to undo steps, the paranoia of stepping outside of the box, running down the dark and threatening alleyways of existence, seeking how to rid ourselves of that which we would rather not be a part of us, yet realizing ultimately how fruitless this venture is, and once we're in contact with that part of ourselves, things can never go back to being what they were before (as the final scene between the two women demonstrates powerfully). Bravo.
Also, the film is about more than just abortion. It also deals heavily with the strict totalitarian Communist regime in Romania. This adds a significant amount of tension to the plot, the fact that a ruthless dictator and his regime loom over the lives of the characters.
The film is also about freindship as much as it is about abortion, in fact, probably more so about freindship. At the heart of this film is the binding relationship between the two female protagonists. Again, the level of honesty with which their relationship is depicted is refreshing.
This film won the Palme D'or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, which is, in my opinion, the most prestigious film award in the entire world. In the case of "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days," the award was well deserved. The film stays with you after viewing it, resonating inside you like a fetus. It is not to be missed!
This film makes me wonder if this is what American women will face in the future in states where abortion clinics are closed and abortions become illegal. Are we going to return to the days of wire hanger abortions?
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provocative for that reason.Read more