Monday, September 14, 2009

Four Months, three weeks and two days: Cristian Mungiu (19.02.09)

This highly praised and critically acclaimed film has recently received yet another reward and I still wonder why. I have seen comments claiming this is an indictment of the Ceacescu regime but the only real difference between the setting and that of an industrial city in Western Europe is the limited street lighting and the only other difference is that graduates are directed to their first employment which, with the state paying for their education, does not seem that unreasonable (cf soldiers in the UK having a university education in return for a given number of years' service). The acting of the female lead is first-rate even if her relationship with the girl needing, and getting, the abortion is not as clear as it might be and she is well supported by the rest of the cast. There are some fine camera shots especially during the night scenes but the overall impression I had was of a well-made film of no great significance about an incident of importance to thos involved but no more - the Dardenne brothers produce films that are as well-made, if not better, and every bit as miserable!

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