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I loved this movie from the first time I saw it, but it wasn't until I sat through it the third time that I figured out why. It is clever, exciting, and funny and is shot in the middle of the breathtaking scenery of the American Southwest. However, the thing that makes it special is its illustration of pure friendship. It may be difficult for some men to cross the gender boundary and connect with Thelma and Louise, yet doing so is critical to appreciating the film. If you can make the connection then you can get its message -- we all need a friendship like the one Thelma and Louise had. This movie will strike a deep emotional chord.....if you aren't afraid to let it. And if you happen to be too emotionally closed off to appreciate what I think the movie says about friendship I think that you will still enjoy the characters, acting, action, and humor. It is a ten out of ten.
This is an important commercial film aimed at blue collar women who
feel victimized by both society and the men in their lives. Directed by
Ridley Scott, who directed the science fiction classics, Alien (1979)
and Blade Runner (1982), Thelma and Louise is an on-the-lam chick flick
(with chase scenes), a kind of femme Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
(1969), somewhat akin to Wild at Heart (1990) and Natural Born Killers
(1994) but without the gratuitous violence of those films. Ridley Scott
walks the razor edge between femme-exploitation and serious social
commentary. Incidentally, the script is by Callie Khouri who wrote
Something to Talk About (1995) and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya
Sisterhood (2002) which should give you an idea of how men are depicted
Susan Sarandon is Louise, a thirty-something Arkansas waitress with an attitude and some emotional baggage, and Geena Davis is Thelma, a cloistered ingenue housewife with a yearning to breath free. Both do an outstanding job and carry the film from beginning to end. The characters they play are well-rounded and fully developed and sympathetic, in contrast to the men in the film who are for the most part merely clichés, or in the case of Darryl (Christopher McDonald), Thelma's boorish husband, or the troll-like truck driver, burlesques.
I have never seen Geena Davis better. Her unique style is melded very well into a naive woman who never had a chance to express herself, but goes hog wild and seems a natural at it when the time comes. Sarandon is also at the top of her game and plays the crusty, worldly wise, vulnerable Louise with tenderness and understanding. Note, by the way, her pinned up in back hair-style, directly lifted from TV's Polly Holliday ("Kiss my grits!") who appeared as a waitress in the seventies sitcoms "Alice" and "Flo."
Harvey Keitel plays the almost sympathetic cop, Hal Slocumb, and Brad Pitt appears as J. D., a sweet-talking twenty-something who gives Thelma the script for robbing 7-11s as he steals more than her libido.
This movie works because it is funny and sad by turns and expresses the yearning we all have to be free of the restraints of society and its institutions (symbolized in the wide-open spaces of the American Southwest) while representing the on again, off again incompatibility of the male and female heart. The male-bashing is done with a touch of humor and the targets are richly deserving of what they get. The ending is perhaps too theatrical and frankly unrealistic, but opinions may differ.
Best and most telling quick scene is when Thelma phones Darryl to see if he has found out about their escapades. Weasel-like, he is trying to help the cops locate them, but he is so transparent to her that all she has to do is hear his voice. "He knows," she says to Louise and hangs up.
Best visual is when the black police helicopter appears suddenly, menacingly like a giant fly beneath the horizon of the Grand Canyon. Also excellent were the all those squad cars lined up like armored battalions aimed at the girls on the run.
I also liked the scenes at the motel with J.D. and Louise's boyfriend. They were beautifully directed and cut, and very well conveyed by Sarandon and Davis, depicting two contrasting stages in male-female relationships.
See this for Geena Davis because she was brilliant, vividly alive and never looked better.
"Thelma and Louise" made a huge splash when it was released and has since
become a part of the pop culture lexicon. In it, a mistreated housewife and
harried waitress stumble into an out-of-control - but totally liberating -
crime spree. As bold and relevant as ever, it remains a vastly entertaining
Callie Khouri's screenplay is a feeling, funny classic and director Ridley Scott lends this road movie epic scope, seeking out the beauty in open spaces.
Both leads - Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise - give fine performances. Thelma and Louise become fully realized human beings who share a powerful and authentic friendship. Their transformation into two outlaws is also made entirely believable by the actresses.
And what about the men? Harvey Keitel is charming as the sympathetic lawman, Hal, and Michael Madsen's turn as Louise's boyfriend Jimmy is wonderfully nuanced. Brad Pitt also leaves a strong impression as the winsome blonde thief J.D. It's easy to see why this film made Pitt a star.
"Thelma and Louise" is a film of rare cultural resonance, to be sure. Yet while undoubtedly provocative, this movie is also alot of fun.
For many years now, women have taken power into their own hands. So I am
sure the women that campaigned for freedom and liberty, would have loved
movie, 'Thelma and Louise'. The tradition of the American road trip is
in such a refreshing way in this movie, with its two lead characters
who are fed up with life, and no longer take any crap from the men that
live with or that they meet. Thelma and Louise is a film that will make
feel warm, but also leave a some what 'bitter-sweet' taste in your mouth.
Thelma and Louise are best friends on a desperate flight across the American Southwest after a tragic incident at a roadside bar. With determined detective Hal on their trail, a sweet-talking hitchhiker called 'J.D.' in their path and a string of crimes in their wake, their journey alternates between a hilarious, high-octane joy ride and an empowering personal odyssey... even as the law closes in.
'Thelma and Louise' are exceptionally well written characters for the big-screen. Callie Khouri wrote a fascinating script, capturing the 'female power' beautifully. But it is in her characters that I like the most. While, I had feelings for both Thelma and Louise, I also wanted the pair to get caught, and part of me also loved what made the pair the individuals that they were. This is all from the great work of Khouri, who is an intelligent screenwriter. I have watched this film a couple of weeks after viewing another of Callie's movies, 'Something to talk about', another movie from the female point of view that both sexes can enjoy.
Yet Callie's screenplay would have been a waste, if the actors did not play their part properly. The main stars here are Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon), who are some what fed up with the life that they are living, and plan a trip to get away from everything. Things soon start to get out of hand for the women, and when trouble causes them have shoot and kill somebody, the fun really starts. In fact from the time that this incident begins and concludes, the movie to the very end was for me, one great joy ride.
Davis and Sarandon share a great bond on the film. Thelma and Louise are great friends, but completely different characters in their own right. Davis plays a ditsy sort of character, who is naïve, but becomes an individual once again, after the men in her life have been nothing but tragedy after tragedy. Then with Sarandon, I got the feeling that she was the one that had the 'balls' out of the two, making her best friend realise that they should stand for no crap anymore. It was a shame that neither actress won an academy award for their role, but of course they were up against a great performer in another 1991 movie, that being Jodie Foster in 'Silence of the Lambs'. If foster was not there, I am certain that one of these two would have walked away with an academy award.
Yet there are other cast members that need to be highlighted from 'Thelma and Louise'. I enjoyed what DJ (Brad Pitt) brought to the film. He was a character that I trusted, but like the girls, I was scorned after working out how bad he was. Then there is Louise's love interest, Jimmy (Michael Madison), who shows his girlfriend glimpses of what she is trying to escape, and that being married to him would be a mistake. Then to round the cast of this film is Police detective Hal (played by Hollywood legend, Harvey Keitel). Hal is genuinely interested in working out the situation with the girls, but realises that these are extraordinary women, in an extraordinary situation.
'Thelma and Louise' is well directed by Oscar winning director, Ridley Scott. I feel that he brought out the road trip of the girls well, making it really interesting for the viewer, as we want to know what is going to happen as the girls go from one situation to another. Scott also helps to define what makes the girls tick as individuals, and to why they are such great friends. He also makes it easy for his audience to understand what theses girls are doing is necessary to their freedom and survival.
I also like the locations that were chosen and shot for this movie, showing off much of America that we rarely get the chance to see. The American west, which is where the majority of the film takes place, looks partly like a fun place to live, but also a place that holds great danger for the girls. Thelma also emphasises that going through 'Texas' is completely out of the picture. Then when the girls are really on the run we get the chance to see some of the great cannons that America has to offer. The camera work by cinematographer Adrian Biddle is exceptional, and makes wonder what it would be like to visit such a part of the world.
There is a lot to like about this movie. Things like its style, story, lingo, characters and conclusion, which are all captivating. I feel that the audience of this movie is on an intoxicating sort of ride here, by the sort adventure that 'Thelma and Louise' allows us to experience. We are affected by what affects this pair. Well I know I was anyway. This movie also proves, by creating more problems, you do not make the situation you are in better, but much worse. Nevertheless, it looks like fun to be on the run!
CMRS gives 'Thelma and Louise': 4.5 (Very Good - Brilliant Film)
Thelma and Louise is a rarity. It is a buddy movie about two women, and
it is one of the best road movies to ever grace the screen.
Louise (Susan Sarandon) and Thelma (Gina Davis) are two friends who plan a road trip into the mountains for the weekend. Neither one of their lives seems exciting at the moment. Louise waits tables at the local diner and is also waiting on boyfriend Jimmy (Michael Madsen)who is always traveling and seems destined to never settle down. Thelma is a sexually repressed housewife who lives at home with a self-important husband (Christopher McDonald) who doesn't seem to care much for her at all except when she is not fulfilling her house-wife duties like having diner made and the house cleaned.
It is no wonder these two decide to take a trip for the weekend to the mountains to get away for awhile and have fun. Of course there is an event that happens not long after they have started their journey, and right after said event, things quickly spiral out of control as the two girls find themselves racing for Mexico with the law quickly on their heels.
This movie could've been just another boring road picture, but both Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon along with a fine script and clever pacing by director Ridley Scott, make it much better. Davis and Sarandon have great chemistry together, and the script is loaded with offbeat humor to go along with its clever story. The movie is never boring because Ridley Scott makes it so by slowing the pace down at the right moments, and then picking it back up when necessary. I enjoyed all the characters, including the minor ones which included a cameo by Brad Pitt as the young hitchhiker JD who Thelma quickly falls in lust with.
Some people may see this as the ultimate female picture, but I think it is more than that. Harvey Keitel is the inspector on the case who believes that these girls really aren't as bad as some may think, and his character is interesting as well because he seems to understand why everything involving the girls has lead up to this series of unfortunate events. Michael Madsen, as Louise's boyfriend Jimmy, also adds depth to his role as a man who though upset with what Louise is going to do understands and loves her still. These two characters add something more to the story which makes it less of a feminist picture without once taking away from the two leads. If that was even possible.
My only gripe with the movie would be the ending. Not the way it ended but how quickly it rushed to the end credits. I for one, like Roger Ebert who stated the same thing in his review of the movie, believe that the ending should of lasted a little longer before fading out. That's my only problem, and it's the only reason why the movie doesn't get a perfect score from me.
Through his career, Ridley Scott was an eclectic film-maker because he broached (with success) several cinema styles: science-fiction with "Alien", historical film with "1492: Christopher Colombus". Here, he succeeded very well his way to the road-movie and this one is listed among the best road-movies ever made. At first look, the story looks simple and without too many claims: two young women, Thelma and Louise are going out for the week-end with the firm intention of having a ball. But what they don't know is that this drive will soon become a descent into hell... The movie is worth seeing for its two main actresses: Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, both outstanding and what interests Ridley Scott, is their temperament and their evolution during the movie. At the beginning, a sensitive and fragile Thelma is next to a energetic and realistic Louise but in the second part of the movie, more precisely, after Thelma burglarized a shop (probably the best sequence in the whole movie) in order to grab money, roles are reversed. This is an occasion to make out Louise's wounds and weaknesses. So, don't rely too much on appearances... "Thelma and Louise" is also a movie where Scott takes a lucid look on the hidden side of the American society and especially on men. Scott introduces them to us with their worst faults: either they're macho (Darryl), obscene (the truck driver), perverse (the rapist) or coward (the cop). The only one saved is Harvey Keitel who never falls into the caricature of the American cop usually described to us as merciless or obsequious. Here, he shows understanding and even compassion towards the two runaways, notably Louise because he knows that she hides a terrible secret. A dynamic and panting movie where laugh and sorrow are skillfully married.
A lot of people have dubbed this as a "chick flick" but I do not really
that term as it implies that men cannot enjoy watching it. Alien had a
female lead and had parts that were sad but nobody would call that a chick
flick. Also is every movie about male characters a guy flick? I thought
was a great drama and the acting was superb. No one can deny that this
is a classic and has influenced the English language. I would also like to
mention that I am a man.
In response to people who bash the movie saying that it is anti-male; I
would like to say that Thelma and Louise is simply a movie about
that happen to women all too often. Women are raped everyday and women are
abused everyday; this movie brings that into the light and says that it is
not good enough. I do not believe that shooting the rapist was justified
at least he did not get away with it. The movie shows that by running away
from your problems things only get worse.
People have also commented that there are no men that are not portrayed
negatively. Both the sympathetic police officer and Jimmy are likable
characters. The purpose of this film was not to celebrate masculinity but
show two women breaking free from oppression. Not all women are raped or
abused but it is something that is very common and it is relevant enough
be a theme of a movie.
I was very moved by the movie and I gave it a 9/10
The road movie is traditionally a male genre, relying on the sense of
freedom and independence that having one's own transport provides and
which has usually been the privilege of men
What is innovatory about
"Thelma & Louise" is the way it reequips the genre for women
Thelma (Geena Davis) is a housewife trapped in a meaningless marriage, Louise (Susan Sarandon) is a waitress in a not very significant relationship They decide to give themselves a little space by taking off for a weekend But when Louise shoots a man who is trying to rape Thelma, they are precipitated into a far more radical break with their past lives
The setting of action in the American southwest and the acts of outlawry the women are obliged to commit in order to keep on the run give the film some of the feel of a Western What makes it nevertheless a women's film is that the relationship between the two principals is at the center of the story The various men they encounter, both the ones they leave behind and those they meet on the road have less importance for Thelma and Louise than the two women do for each other
Predictably, the film met with hostility from some male viewers, on the grounds that the men were caricatured and that the film encouraged violence
You have to give it up for a movie that casts Michael Madsen as pretty much the only sane guy in existence. Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) go off from their banal existences to a trip that heads up poop creek really REALLY fast. After shooting dead a would-be rapist, they both head for the hills where the law, personal freedom and, yes, Brad Pitt await! I hadn't seen this in quite a number of years, and it was great to come back to. I remembered a lot of it, but I noticed particularly this time the strong performances of not only of Davis and Sarandon, but of Harvey Keitel, Madsen (who is actually amazing), Pitt, and quite underplayingly, Christopher Mcdonald. Ridley Scott puts these elements all together in one explosive package.
THELMA & LOUISE has to be regarded as a pure 90s classic that brought up a considerable amount of risk in creating a first-person feminist formula into a mainstream movie, which is often missing. It pulls off fantastically true in form, with the exceptional Southern character talents of the two lady fugitives on the run, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, who may stand out as memorable on the silver screen. Let's not forget that silly truck driver they pass quite often, and of course, cowboy Brad Pitt as a young student. While not needed to be fully reliant on action substances like gunshooting, there is good chemistry within its grasp. Every single minute should not be wasteful, as plenty of refreshing outbursts of enjoyment outweighs the familiar old plot of evading the police. The ending is a definite eye catcher, and also the riskiest ever filmed! Beware of this rip-off called GOOD GIRLS DON'T, another poor B-movie with no redeeming quality. Satisfyingly original, and highly recommended!
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