Film Club Review – 4 Months, 3 Weeks, & 2 Days
4 Months etc. is a film about a woman helping her roommate have an illegal abortion in Communist Romania during the 80s. The movie starts out in a drab student dormitory where Otilia is helping her friend Gabi pack for a three night stay in a hotel room. We don’t know what its for until we get to the hotel room and they meet with the man they hired to terminate the pregnancy.
I really liked the story structure of this film. Its very non-traditional with no obvious climax to anticipate and with long blocks of dialogue in long scenes, most notably the meeting with the man they hired. There’s also quite a lot of tension in small moments, such as when Otilia is searching through a suitcase or when she’s trapped in an awkward social situation with her boyfriend’s parents as a potentially important phone call is ringing unanswered.
However, here is my problem with the film. What is the goal of the movie? What is its purpose? Is it pro-abortion, anti-abortion, or neutral? And if its neutral, then why is the movie about it? Or is it supposed to be about a lack of freedom in the soviet Eastern block? Because if so, I didn’t really feel that either. I feel like I should have walked away from this movie with some sort of emotional pull, but I didn’t really.
I didn’t understand the reason for the making of this film. I guess that is a wider question: why are films made in the first place? And of course there is no single answer, it varies depending on the movie. Some entertain, some inform, some are meant to strike an emotional chord. I just can’t pinpoint the purpose for this one.
So there we go. Its a masterfully constructed film with great characters and performances which personally I felt lacked a central core of purpose. 7/10