BrandonHabes’s review published on Letterboxd:
Abortion is horrible, but so is policing women's bodies. Mungiu effectively gives a middle finger to both sides of the debate, creating a cruel atmosphere where pro-life exists under the insidious creep of an Orwellian state, and pro-choice is visualized in the most graphic, heartless and unrepentant of details. Fuck both sides. Humans don't know how to be free without fucking themselves and others up, nor do they know how to benevolently rule over others without abusing their positions of power. Totalitarianism is evil, but human choice can be just as bad.
This film jaaaaaaaacked me up.
Bleeds wretchedness on all fronts. A timely reminder of what freedom looks like in the face of state oppression, and the depressing consequences of what humans can do while scheming within blackmarket conditions.
Bold, focused storytelling is served up in degrading horror show proportions. Every shot feels deliberately staged, every character imbues either frustration, cowardice, incompetence or stupidity. Or all the above. Let's also talk about the horror of red herrings for a moment. Mungiu creates ominous foreshadows all over this thing (a stolen knife, a lost ID, a dinner party miscarry) yet never delivers on a single one. Perhaps this is disappointing to some, but for me it worked to inflate the tangible sense of devilry that always existed in the margins, and which could strike out and assault at any moment. Speaking of that dinner party sequence, I was convinced Mungiu was gonna go all ALIEN and grotesquely visualize the effects of a surprise abortion all over that table. Sick huh? It never arrives, but that's exactly what his formal technique conjured in my imagination.
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days is a horrendous film that takes you through a horrendous experience, told in a style that's perfectly controlled and makes each frame count —even if you feel sick to your stomach afterwards.