4242 (2016) Poster


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One incredibly intense movie, overflowing with emotion
brianlutes17 September 2016
I've watched this film at least a half dozen times over the last couple of days. This is one incredibly intense movie, overflowing with emotion. The first look left me with so many questions. I had to run it a couple more times. Let me start by saying that Cristina Caldararu is one very impressive young lady that possesses a world class talent. She's written a smart, heartfelt script and has brought it to life with a gut-wrenching performance. This kid can write and act and bring an audience to tears. Were all my questions answered? No... but that's okay. This is more of an abstract piece put together through raw visuals and a passionate monologue in the hands of a very talented and already multi-award winning director, Sara Eustaquio, who has a very promising career ahead of her.

'4242' is a story about change, fear and abandonment. A young woman struggles to cope with self doubt and feelings of being cut off from the world. Separated from her family, she finds herself in a new home and feeling lost. Not much explanation is given as to where she is or where she came from, only that she desperately misses her family. I did enjoy the reference to the film's name as a count of the time spent cut off from her family.

Cristina is a natural storyteller with a pen and in front of the camera. This is a short and it's rather abstract and held together with more dramatic energy than actual storytelling. I'd very much like to have her sink her teeth into something more linear and traditional to see what she can do with a story. I enjoyed this very much. But it only gave me a taste of what this girl is capable of, besides Sara, who put all the pieces in the right place.

I also enjoyed the score. Powlos and Labvic gave something that reminded me of John Carpenter's late 70's, early 80's work or Giorgio Moroder... not sure why. Just a cool, moody vibe.

The editing lent itself to the mood and feel of the overall piece. Everything was where it should be and flowed with Cristina's nightmare- ish performance.

An excellent effort, both from Cristina Caldararu and Sara Eustaquio. I very much look forward to the next!
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It is hard not to be impressed by what this 16 year-old director achieved through this film.
bucharestshortcut9 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A teenager moves abroad away from her family and friends, away from her family and friends, making a change that proves to be much more difficult than she thought.

It is hard not to be impressed by what this 16 year-old director achieved through this film, that reveals a degree of maturity and refinement we often do not see even at more experienced filmmakers. 4242 tackles a delicate contemporary issue from the perspective of the protagonist, who is given the freedom to create a great amount of the story. The final result is a touching film about loneliness, estrangement and fear of the unknown.

The entire film is focusing on the feelings and the emotions of the teenage girl. From our point of view, her state of mind is best depicted in body language, the character coming to life through gestures and expressions. There is an attempt to build the monologue on the stream of consciousness technique, but as it does not manage to overcome some clichés and reach the step where it is fresh and innovative, the impact upon the viewer is not meaningful. Still, the character is complex and genuine and it develops Regarding the performance of the young actress, we would say that it is remarkably good: she understood the subtle nuances of her character and instilled to it intense emotions. There were scenes where she could have been more natural, but the overall result was not significantly affected.

4242 is not outstanding in terms of cinematography; the image is clean and the framing is correct, with a few errors, such as camera not being steady at times. Also, we think that the film would have benefited from a better colorization, that would have amplified the meanings of the story. What we really appreciated was the creativity and the courage to experiment. Sara Eustaquio had no fear to play with diverse techniques in a fusion of time-lapse, close-ups and images shot in different settings, creating an original and engaging film.

The music and the sound design stand as another proof that this film was produced with deep attention to details. We really loved the way the sounds of the nature - the birds singing, the waves - were integrated in the picture. The music has a very interesting evolution, growing in intensity, from low piano notes to a fusion of contemporary vibes.

4242 is a very sensible film that denotes deep understanding of an issue that touches an increasing number of teenagers. Sara Eustaquio perfectly captured the mixed feelings filling the abyss between two different worlds: the old one, where everything was familiar and the new one, where the fear of the unknown paralyzes any perspective for the future.
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