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4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile – Review

While the website said that they were showing 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile at Curzon Soho from today, it turns out that they aren’t after all. So I take the short tube ride on the Picadilly line to the Renoir in Russell Square.

The Renoir, I discover, is a decrepit old place and not in an artsy or charming sort of way. I am just over an hour early so I get the bitter £1.50 freetrade coffee and hang around in the empty “lounge” finishing off some “stuff”. When they open the screen 1 hall, there is another surprise – a pillar right in the middle of the hall, meaning the back few rows are practically useless, especially the middle aisle seats.

Patru Luni, my first movie of 2008, more than makes up for all that. It is the story of an extraordinary day in the life of Otilia, a polytechnic student living in a dorm in România of 1987. I have not seen Cristian Mungiu’s previous four movies, and judging by this one, I have missed out on some good cinema.

On one hand the movie is fascinating in that it provides a slight glimpse into what it might have been like to live in Ceauşescu’s România. While I am normally wary of learning about “other cultures” from movies, the “signs of the times” are a relatively safer pick. For instance, having to carry around an ID card everywhere for everything is an explicit sign. More subtly, the lingering undercurrent of fear and treachery is palpable throughout.

The film is even more captivating in Read more of this post