In 1980s Romania, the brutal Ceausescu dictatorship is still in power. Gabita turns to her friend Otila, for help in organizing an illegal abortion. A crime punishable by death. They enlist the services of the shady Mr. Bebe.
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Une grande justesse dans l'interprétation et surtout le rythme de ce film qui distille parfaitement la tension, l'attente, la crainte. Jamais complaisant ou excessif. Mais pourquoi y a-t-il encore des mecs qui refusent de mettre une capote !?
What's most surprising is Mungiu's use of thriller tropes to lift what is ostensibly a serious, harrowing drama into a masterfully nailbiting ride - the slow reveal of the villain of the piece is breathtaking, and there's even a wry twist on Chekhov's Gun. The cast is astonishing too - one can only wonder at what Mungiu's direction was during that long, excruciating dinner party scene.
Overrated film. The brunette annoyed me because she didn't have a brain and did everything wrong. If I'm going to be emotionally invested in a character, she has to at least care about her friend who is trying to help her.
Revisited after years; this may have been the first Romanian film I ever experienced. Having since slowly trudged through generations of RO cinema (perpetually, knees and elbows), this almost feels as if it were made to win gold a la Dardenne-Cannes shimmer sprinkle; polished poster child. Witness this film still, an aesthetic cinematic clinic. Meanwhile, Puiu's debut 6 years earlier is tangible for the tigers.
Gripping Romanian New Wave film with affecting performances and set design. A subtext of profound social implication is subtly conveyed through French/Italian social realist innovations including deep focus, mobile hand camera operation, and on location sound.
A film of striking verisimilitude in exposing a controversial black market practice.
89/100 - Excellent. (4.5)
"Beyond the Hills" was my first Mungiu film, but this one is just as good and delivers, in a different way, that feeling of oppression and discomfort with the theme of the film. I loved Anamaria Marinca, thought she was terrific in the role. I also loved the grittiness and austerity of the film which contributed to a very 'real' portrait of the country and its people at that particular period.