4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days
Director: Cristian Mungiu
Cast: Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov
This movie is a strong case for pro-abortion laws all over the world. It is hard to imagine that there still exist countries where it is so difficult to get an abortion. 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days is set in 1987, one of the last few years of the Ceauşescu regime which was basically Communist Romania. Abortion which was previously legal was made illegal except in a few cases through Decree 770. After the fall of the regime, abortion became legal again in 1989.
That the movie is cold and hard hitting would be a definite understatement. It opens with the two friends, Otilia (Marinca) and Gabita(Vasiliu) talking about an impending plan and preparations for it. Have you packed the tissue? What about the soap? And the plastic sheet? The viewer is left wondering what they might be talking about. What are they packing for and why is Gabita so nervous? Slowly, the movie unravels itself on you. Otilia books a room in a hotel for 3 nights. She is extremely insistent about booking a room in a particular hotel but that doesn’t work out… and yes, we are still wondering!
Otilia finally manages to book a room in another hotel and then heads to meet a Mr.Bebe at a previously decided meeting point. Things start to look a bit fishy now. Mr. Bebe (Ivanov) seems a strange sort, someone you might want to keep away from. Otilia gets into his car and they drive to the hotel where Gabita is waiting. Slowly it starts falling into place in your head now. We realize that Gabita is pregnant and Mr. Bebe is going to do the illegal abortion for her…with a probe, some medicine and no anaesthesia. As they start to talk, it is revealed that Gabita had lied to him about being just two months pregnant. He realizes she is actually closer to 4 months and therein starts the downhill roll to misfortune.
This is a heart wrenching movie with carefully etched characters. It makes you ponder over just how much of a stake the rest of the world makes on a woman’s body. There are a couple of side stories as well, like that of Otilia and her boyfriend, Adi and their roller-coaster relationship.
Watch this movie to know just how lucky we are to live in a country where abortion is legal.
Verdict: I’d say it’s a must watch. Let’s give the choice over what a woman must do with her body to the one who owns it – the woman.