it took a while to get here and it’s got kind of a dumb title, but it’s a great film.
the film starts with a shot of two goldfish in a bowl and you know right away that it’s going to be a look inside the world of two people. this first shot, incidentally, is the key to understanding the last shot which is pulled off quite well. the film follows two roommates as they go about getting an abortion for one of them. you don’t know right away that this is what they’re setting out to do, but the hints are there and you’ll suspect this is their goal before it’s explicitly revealed.
it’s shot in a very slow cinema verite style to accentuate the ordeal the two women go through in accomplishing their task. there aren’t any unnecessary cuts and a few of the scenes last 5-10 minutes without any break. one of my favorites occurs at one of the girls’ boyfriend’s house where his mom is celebrating her 48th birthday. the scene shows the cultural climate of romania as well as highlighting the differences between the girl and her boyfriend. mungiu isn’t afraid to show anything in the film. he doesn’t shy away from topics and images that most media avoid or talk around. he explores every facet of getting an illegal abortion (and more) – the procedure itself, the payment, what to do with the fetus afterwards, etc. – with equal aplomb and honesty.
it’s a fascinating film with some admittedly slow parts, but it’s worth slogging through the first 20 minutes to get to know the characters and experience what they experience. one of the best new films i’ve seen in a while. B+.Watched in theater