Thelma (2017) Poster

(II) (2017)

User Reviews

Review this title
89 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Beautifully shot with a thought-provoking story
kickeeen3 December 2017
Most films now-a-days rarely dear to be pushing the boundaries of the artistic form of cinema. Joachim Trier does this brilliantly by being able to make the viewer experience the same emotions the main character, Thelma, does during the whole movie.

During this beautifully shot piece, we're taken through a very eventful period of Thelma's life and learn to know her whole backstory, which is thought-provoking to say at least. It's a coming of age story told in a stylistic environment with some well-executed acting performances which makes the characters seem genuine. The viewer is thrown into a whirlwind of emotions throughout the film and as told earlier, Trier is great at making the viewer step into the shoes of Thelma.

The story is told in a beautiful manner, even though it might seem slow at times for some viewers. However, I reckon the film would've lost a lot of the suspense and tenseness it manages to create if it was shorter and/or faster, as Trier really lets us dive deep into Thelma's emotions.

Do certainly not hesitate to watch this movie as you will not regret it. Even for those not liking this film as much as I do, it's still a good movie which does not let you down, neither acting, telling or shooting-wise.
61 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I want to see it again already.
mattiasflgrtll625 November 2017
I feel like in the future, I might appreciate this movie even more. You really have to respect the ethics of it. Odder, unusual movies are commonly only screened at festivals, so it makes me very happy that this is one that slipped through the cracks and made it to the regular theaters. This is one of the most unique experiences I've had all year.

It revolves around Thelma, who grew up in a religious household and now is an adult living on her own. She's pretty shy and doesn't know how to talk to anyone at school. One day when she sits besides a girl (who will become very important to the story), she starts shaking and crows crash into the windows. She's having an epileptic seizure. But why?

Once she starts to have feelings for Anja (with Anja showing feelings back) as well as drinking and smoking (which her parents openly have discouraged), her powers start to spiral out of control even more, having horrifying nightmares and weird visions.

This is a very nice and slowly paced (in a good way) movie, but "nice" does not always equal comfortable. It will make you happy with emotions bubbling up in you, it will scare you one other moment and it will make you very sad. As the movie goes on it gets darker and darker, but instead of delving into full-on horror territory it makes you think a lot, and deals with Thelma getting increasingly emotionally conflicted. Why does she have these powers if they don't do any good for her? Is she punished by her sins or is she punished because she has lived out her life restrictfully? There's an interesting conversation at the beginning, where Thelma makes fun of creationists for believing the Earth is only 6000 years old, and her parents tell her she shouldn't make fun of what others believe and that she doesn't know much more herself about what created the world and what controls it. Thelma feels belittled, like she's been relieved of all sorts of independent expression. Despite this, she apologizes to her father afterwards since she's too afraid to break their rules, that she'll lose her love if she deviates too much from what she's been brought up to think.

The romance aspect is handled very nicely. It doesn't feel the slightest bit sappy, Elli Harboe and Kaya Wilkins play their characters gracefully, and their scenes together are never bloated by Hollywood esque music, which would remove some of the subtlety.

Joachim Trier also makes this movie look GORGEOUS visually, you often feel like you're inside of some strange lucid tangible dream world, and whenever scary things occur it's absolutely beautiful to look at.

It's not suitable as simple escapist entertainment, but if you want something which will make you think about the characters afterwards, not just how well-acted they were, but them as people, then I promise you won't regret it.
62 out of 82 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the darkest supernatural love stories
Lugo198916 February 2018
Thelma is a hard film to categorise. It contains everything from drama, mystery, supernatural elements, a bit of horror and is essentially a story about love, self-discovery and the fear it may be attached to it. It is a very slow film but the pace is even enough so it never gets dull or drags. The opening sequence is perfect and sets the tone of the film right from the very first seconds. All the performances are simply top-notch and photography stunning. There is also a bit of symbolism present so you will get your share of food for thought. The symbolism nicely compliments the film, it is not the focus of it and thus does not make Thelma a full on art-house film where you can't decipher or understand what is going on. It is very well written although it is very hard not to think of or compare it to Carrie since there are similarities.

Everyone who love dark films and stories with haunting atmosphere, good performances and beautiful photography should not miss this one. Recommended.
20 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"I know there's something wrong with me", but what exactly?
paul-allaer23 December 2017
"Thelma" (2017 release from Norway; 116 min.) brings the story of university student Thelma. As the movie opens, we see young Thelma and her dad walking in the snowy woods, and when they encounter a deer, dad aims his riffle first at the deer, then.... at Thelma. Whoa! We then go to today, as Thelma, just entering university in Oslo, has a difficult time finding her way. Then one day, as she is in the library/study hall, Thelma suffers a seizure. Following that incident, Anja, another student, reaches out to Thelma to see if she's okay. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest from Norwegian writer-director director Joachim Trier, who previously gave us the excellent "Louder Than Bombs" (2015) and before that the even better "Oslo, August 31st" (2011). Here he goes a very different direction. Trier brings us Thelma, an 18 yr. old who grew up in a very conservative/religious/rural setting but now finds freedom in the big city and, while feeling guilty about it, is nevertheless quite eager to explore this newly found freedom. The movie is paced quite slowly, and I mean that as a compliment, as Trier takes his time to explore and provide full characters. After the first seizure, Thelma gets scared and confesses "I know there's something wrong with me", but what exactly? And what causes thee seizures? All is revealed in the second hour of the movie... I shan't say more! Eili Harboe is outstanding in the title role, and I can only imagine that she will soon be making her debut in US movies. In fact, I could easily see how "Thelma" is one of those movies that Hollywood wants to remake--Hollywood style of course. Let's hope I am dead wrong on this one. "Thelma" is 180 degrees away from Hollywood mainstream, and it should stay that way,

"Thelma" opened without any fanfare or advertising at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this weekend, and seeing that this was directed by Joachim Trier was good enough for me to check it out. So glad I did. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended so-so at best (6 people including myself), and that leads me to think this won't play long in the theater... If you are in the mood for a top-notch foreign psychological drama with hints of the supernatural, I readily recommend that you check out "Thelma", be it in the theater (while you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "Thelma" is a WINNER.
15 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Parents Lose Control of Daughter, Daughter Loses Control of Self
Raven-19694 November 2017
Lights flicker, the wind rises and animals behave strangely when Thelma becomes agitated. She is capable of mysterious and ethereal powers, and more than she knows because her manipulative and fundamentalist parents keep such things under wraps in home-school. As Thelma heads to college in Oslo and stops taking medications, not only do her parents lose control, she loses control of herself. Psychogenic seizures rack her body. Passions and anxieties multiply along with her abilities. This is when Anja, Thelma's close friend, does something extremely upsetting for Thelma. The next day when Anja can't be found, Thelma has a sickening feeling she had something to do with it. She searches for answers to the secrets and powers that beguile and haunt her.

This thrilling, deep, complex and sensual film explores a whole realm of different theories and possibilities. I was surprised and delighted by its twists and turns. It crosses borders between reality and fantasy, and light and darkness, and explores the good and bad in human nature. The actors are amazing, especially Eili Harboe as Thelma and Kaya Wilkins as Anja. It is fantastic to discover that the roots of psychogenic disorders go back as far as Joan of Arc. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival.
46 out of 72 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
artistic, unique and beautifully dark.
MitchellCombden20 November 2017
Thelma (2017) is a Norwegian drama/mystery/romance/thriller directed by Joachim Trier. This film is Mr. Trier's fourth feature length directorial effort, he also co-wrote the screenplay. the film follows a young woman named Thelma who begins to fall in love with another woman and soon discovers that she has magical powers.

the camera work in this film Is very slick for the majority of the film. the composition of the frames are very well thought out and pleasing to the eye. at times though the hand-held camera segments can become distracting. especially when you've warmed up to the crisp and steady dolly shots and then transition into some shaky hand-held scenes. this however does not ruin the experience. visually, this film is very well put together.

the lead performance is another standout element of the film. Eili Harboe as Thelma is absolutely magnificent. she commands the screen when she has to. the film isn't super reliant on dialogue so throughout many of the most important scenes Miss Harboe must conjure up some serious emotion and does so with ease. the inner struggle of her character is expertly communicated through her physically captivating performance. all of the supporting actors and actresses do a fine job as well, but clearly, Eili Harboe steals the show here. the film would not be as good as it is if her performance wasn't as good as it was.

Thelma's character go's through a serious inner battle with herself when it comes to her own sexuality and her religious beliefs that are basically forced upon her by her family. this conflict is beautifully captured on screen in a VISUAL way. some directors forget that film is mostly a visual art form, but Joachim Trier understands this without a doubt. his use of visuals to communicate conflict are brilliant and artistic.

the only real flaw I can think of when talking about this film is the final act. it seems like it heads in the right direction, then takes a sudden dive into a difficult conclusion that for me was hard to swallow.

overall though, Thelma is one of the finest films I've seen all year.

The Verdict: 9.0/10
24 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Seizure warning
naynabear24 June 2018
The film was excellent but they seriously need a seizure warning somewhere.
20 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Original Film
claudio_carvalho30 March 2019
The lonely religious Thelma (Eili Harboe) is a repressed teenager that has just left her overprotective father Trond (Henrik Rafaelsen) and her disabled mother Unni (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) in the countryside of Norway to join the university in Oslo. She has no friends and one day she has an epileptic seizure in the library. Then she befriends the student Anja (Kaya Wilkins) and tastes wine and cigarette for the first time. Soon they fall in love with each other and Thelma feels uncomfortable with the situation that is against her religious values. Thelma is submitted to a series of exams to find the cause of her seizures and she thinks of Anja during the tests. When Anja disappears, Thelma learns that she has telekinetic powers. Thelma decides to return home where she recalls what she did with her family when she was young.

"Thelma" is an original film with a different story, great screenplay and magnificent performance of Eili Harboe. The top-notch and beautiful cinematography and camera work give a magnificent beginning to this film. The genre is hard to be labelled since it blends art, drama, mystery, romance, eroticism and horror in right doses. Give a chance to "Thelma" and you may have a good surprise. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Thelma"
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best X-Men Movie ever
andreasz-238128 October 2017
Back from the cinema and i am wow wow.

It was just a kinda boring evening, so i took a walk to my favourite cinema in Reykjavik downtown spontaneous.

Unfortunately it was the smallest cinema hall but OK i took a set in the middle of the second seat row. So it was like the last seat row in the big cinema hall. Everything was quiet, not many peoples...perfect.

And the movie started, first scene, what the hell, OK, curious, interesting and from the beginning to the end, it was just an exciting, stunning, enigmatic thrill of a young woman with epilepsy and what can happen if.....

The best movie 2017 i have seen so far!
56 out of 106 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Expertly shot, well acted, but not the wildest ride.
Finfrosk8613 September 2017
First off. Some people are calling this a horror movie. It is not. This is a mysterious drama-thriller with supernatural elements, and just the slightest hint of horror. Now, I expected this so it was OK, but be aware. Expectations is a movie worst enemy!

OK! So Thelma is beautifully shot. Thought has gone into each scene, and each camera angle. The movie overall is very calm, kinda quiet. Eili Harboe is excellent as the titular character. The other characters are good too, but she stands out. She has a very natural way of acting. Also she is beautiful, and so is Kaya Wilkins, which plays her new friend. Gorgeous people.

Like I said, Thelma is a calm, low key movie for the most part. I did think it dragged just a tad in the middle part, but both the beginning and ending is pretty good. It has certain romantic tendencies, but it was done in a not annoying way. Good.

The are some scenes with CGI here, and they are very well done. You almost won't notice they are CG, except from the fact that you know you are watching something impossible. That's good. Thelma is not heavy on big effect stuff, but the effects that are, are excellent.

Joachim Trier is Norwegian movie critics golden child. They love him over here. Personally I'm no big fan, but then again, Reprise is the only movie of his I've seen, so I can't really say. But Thelma is the kind of supernatural movie movie critics are actually allowed to like. Because it's kinda artsy, ya'll! ;) Anyway, I liked it, didn't love it, but maybe I will later? I doubt it, but who knows! Know what you are in for, and you will probably like it too!
44 out of 82 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good Norwegian movie.
deloudelouvain20 August 2018
Thelma is categorized as a drama, fantasy and horror but I wouldn't categorize it as a horror movie because there are no horror moments at all. There is suspense building throughout the whole movie but it never gets really creepy. The story is good though, intriguing, slowly building to the climax. Good directing from Joachim Trier. Thelma is nicely shot, clearly done by professionals. The cast was well chosen as well, as all the actors did a good job with their respective characters. To me it could have been darker with more scary moments to make it better but even without that it's entertaining and worth watching. Good Norwegian movie.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A super-villain's origin story?
rine_wolve7 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Carried away by the wonderfully soft tones of the Norwegian language, I was lured in into Thelma's story, as she begins a new chapter of her life as a student. I felt everything with her! How lonely she was, how scared of her controlling father and aloof mother (while at the same time I did suspect that the parents were afraid of her), how torn apart she becomes when falling in love and then suspecting she might be sick... but then discovering she actually has super powers. I loved the sudden turn for the dark, when you think her father might kill her and then the twist at the end which reveals the complete truth: Thelma not only thinks herself as better than others: Thelma actually IS better! And by the end of the movie she becomes aware of it, embraces it, and makes use of her abilities both for an atrocious murder and for a painfully condescending miraculous healing, just like a god dispensing justice on Earth. If that is not the display of a great future super-villain, I don't know what is. She kind of reminds of Magneto, although I fear she could get much darker in the long run. I loved how "Thelma" leaves you longing for a sequel, and even a series. So much can (and probably will) go wrong. So, please! Let us see!
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Well worth seeing
MartinHafer21 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Imagine a film that is part Carrie and part The Exorcist…combined with a lesbian love story. I know that sounds a bit confusing…but this is a pretty accurate summary of the picture.

When the story begins, young Thelma (Eili Harboe) has gone off to college and things seem pretty normal. However, out of the blue, she has what appears to be a grand mal seizure that lands her in the hospital. Soon after, one of the folks who witnessed the seizure, Anja (Kaya Wilkens) introduces herself to Thelma and they soon become friends. In fact, over times they become more than friends as both the women begin having sexual feelings for each other…which causes Thelma to have a huge internal struggle because this violates her strong Christian upbringing. A bit later, Thelma enters the hospital for testing to determine exactly whether or not she has epilepsy. During the testing, her defenses are lowered and her intense feelings for Anya run wild…so wild that Thelma's supernatural powers manifest themselves. What exactly are these powers? And, what family secrets are there related to all this? And, how does this all end?

As I said, the story reminds me of a couple other films but it's also original in many ways. It also keeps you guessing…and that's the biggest reason I recommend the picture. Where all this is going and how it gets there make this a very special film, though I have a couple important warnings. First, there are lots and lots of flashing lights and epileptic viewers might have difficulties with this. Second, if you have a strong fear of snakes do not watch this film! There are several snakes in the film but one incredibly vivid dream that is nightmare fodder involving snakes and you need to consider this before you see this excellent movie.
17 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Absolutely Breathtaking
AndreaCaruana19 January 2019
This movie will keep you captivated from the very moment it starts. If you are unsure if this is your kind of thing, give it a go! I promise you wont be disappointed.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Every feeling
keshavarzsam22 October 2018
Encapsulates so many emotions and feelings, while executing with confidence and mastery. Highly recommended!
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great directorial movie gene in the Trier family
zoricaristevska25 April 2018
Well, I certainly didn't have an intention to watch this film as it looked like a horror/erotic movie from description and trailers, but in the end the positive reviews won, and so, I must admit that it hasn't been in vain. The photography is awesome and storytelling is good, although I feel there was a vast space needing to be filled with more substance but instead the film's tended toward more mystery, and less toward casting light over the right questions. The most profound thing for me were the parents' actions. The comparison to other cases in the past wrongfully labeled or the insight to the epilepsy or epilepsy-like symptoms were a great parallel and insights in the others' struggles. It totally gives another perspective in the matter. This movie is the reason why I'm watching everything I can get my hands on next from the director Trier. (I saw that he's related to the big Lars). Maybe it's not fair to make comparisons between both, but I felt a lot of similar energy to this product, as with other works of Lars.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Beautiful Horror, But NOT a Happy Ending
ockiemilkwood9 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
1) This is not a happy ending, not just two female lovers walking into the sunset together. Thelma controls Anja, just as Thelma is herself controlled by disinhibited, subconscious drives (the id). These drives made Thelma involuntarily kill her baby brother and father, and put her mother in a wheelchair. Thelma similarly involuntarily controls Anja, making her breakup with her boyfriend and bringing her to stand outside her apartment window. Anja's love for Thelma is also involuntary. Thelma violates Anja's individuality, her boundaries. Thelma subconsciously makes Anja touch her sexually in the concert hall, just as she suffers lascivious fantasies when she thinks she's under the influence of marijuana. Thelma's father explains this.

So what will happen when Thelma and Anja have a quarrel, if love turns to hate, or when Thelma doesn't get her way with Anja or when she becomes jealous of Anja? Will she set her on fire, as she did her father, or bury her under ice, as she did her baby brother?

2) The movie is beautifully told, using images rather than chatter to convey its story. The images are fine, as is the soundtrack. The movie has a dreamy quality, in keeping with its descent into the subconscious - the line between reality and the subconscious blurs.

There's unity from beginning to end and of form and content. Recurrent themes and images are seamlessly woven throughout, like her father being set on fire, recalling his holding Thelma's hand over an open flame when she was a child; and like the snake, which we first see entering Thelma's grandmother's bed before we even know she has an institutionalized grandmother and which recurs in Thelma's sexual fantasy, both as a phallic symbol and a reference to the evil serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Information is intelligently, gracefully revealed, holding our attention, building suspense, in a subtle process of discovery, both for us and Thelma.

PS. The film's calm purity and minimalism, in contrast to its horror, reminds one of Let the Right One In (08, also Sweden).
16 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the best films of the year
Jithindurden8 December 2017
A coming of age supernatural love story that discusses being an introvert, religion, sexual repression and the tendency to fear and control what we can't understand. Even though the plot may look very simple at first look, it tells a lot without being very obvious. It's an allegorical tale against the cruel world created by the patriarchal and Christian society.
18 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Beautiful art, okay plus film
mathilde_bull20 September 2017
After reading the fantastic reviews and hearing from friends what a great film this was, i went in with big expectations. I was, oddly not to my surprise, a bit let down, and i think others will be too. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't go out and watch it!

Harboe is the perfect choice for the titular character - every emotion is portrayed with the utmost of believability. Her connection with Anja feels natural and at times entrancing. If Harboe doesn't win an Amanda for Best Actress i'll boycott the award show. Just saying...

The story in engaging, but slow-paced. I don't mind, others might. This is a beautiful piece of art, executed with finesse by Trier. The soundtrack is underscoring the action without adding too much drama, and you've gotta love every moment Susanne Sundfør's music is playing in the background. A perfect fit for this film. The screenplay has a lot of potential, but stumbles here and there. In a way i wish it had been a bit easier on the use of metaphors and symbolism, but at the same time i can't quite grasp what Thelma really is about. Visually, it's stunning - and that's not a given for Norwegian film. But film needs more than stunning photography, cinematography, characters, cgi and music. And that last bit is what's missing here.

Summed up: if you don't like Trier's other films, you might not like this one either. But it's worth the money (!) and your time. Film er best på kino!
18 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A plot so subtle it almost fooled everyone
jamespremier2 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Psychotically-induced seizures brought on by repressed sexual desires that include manifestations of poltergeist activity has been a staple of many horror movies. Carrie being an obvious well-known example. That's what I thought I was seeing for almost two-thirds of this movie. But kudos to the writer who leads us up this garden path, then throws everyone off balance, beginning with Thelma's institutionalised grandmother. Yes, she displayed similar symptoms but Thelma's GP father had had her sectioned. The subtle reference from the nurse that the father was over-medicating her. The film has already portrayed the father as a religious zealot who controls and dominates both his wife and Thelma through suggestion. He peddles religious purity through repetitious prayers and hellfire dogma and hints at demonic influence at work in his own mother and now his daughter. The subtlety that other reviewers appear to have missed was that the father was responsible for the death of his baby son, for his wife's disability and the disappearance of Thelma's lover. Once Thelma realises this, she rejects her submission to her father for his constant approval and focuses her "gift" to remove this evil from their lives. The manner of her father's death reflects his own hellfire beliefs. At that moment of release from his all-pervasive influence, Thelma heals her wheelchair-bound mother and her lover is restored to her. Her "gift" remains, but has now become a force for good. A very clever, beautifully-made movie. But you may need to watch it more than once to catch the nuances you might have missed in the first viewing.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Super women with super suspense.......
kashidomar5 November 2017
A wonderful combination of mutation, mystery and revolutionary scientific thoughts and ideas. All the way to the end it blasts through some premature human reflexes along with their dreadful consequences on the mind of a young female student. She suffers from several unwanted and uncharacterstic cellular actions that totally destroyed her life.These changes sometimes organic and sometimes mental..Those are beyond the limits of medical laws and equations..Only can be explained by some complex rules of science. This is where the movie stands extraordinary to me. As it slowly created the background where the plot has reached it's peak and then has revealed whatever thoughts and answers it can provide the audiences. The director has done efficiently the full work of creating mystery and then unfolding it. And this excellent work has been accompanied by the ruthless as well as splendind acting of the participants.

Those like to watch sci-fi movies specially super hero or mutation like X-man movies will enjoy it surely.
15 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A beautiful, creepy take on sexual awakening
willharveysf3 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I really like bed this movie. It's a slow burn and very subtle in its horrors. But there are images I can't shake a week after seeing it (snakes, babies under ice, hair caught in the middle of a pane of glass). I think a lot of people misunderstand this film. My take, for what's its worth is that this is an art house version of Carrie. Telekinetic powers are unleashed with the sexual awakening of the main character, Thelma (that's pretty obvious). These are initially confusing and terrifying for her and she's horrified that she could possibly have made her same sex love interest, Anna, disappear into the nether. She goes to a neurologist to try and figure out why she's having seizures resulting in horrifying consequences. She ultimately turns to her fundamental Christian parents in her despair who explain to her she's always had these powers and that she killed her baby brother when she became either sick of his crying or because of jealousy over her parent's attention to him. Here's the part I think people miss. She kills her father before he kills her (he draws up a syringe for the act but ultimately puts it aside) in a quesrionably purposeful way. She then brings Anna back and heads back to Oslo/college fully aware of and in control of her powers, only slowing to heal her mother in the process (the mother is a paraplegic probably because of a suicidal jump from a bridge, years earlier, that didn't kill her). Anja probably isn't in love with Thelma, she is just being controlled by her. The ending isn't as happy as most here seem to perceive it to be. We know this because Thelma dreams/wants Anja to kiss her neck and then, moments later, Anja shows up to do so in the exact way as Thelma had just fantasized it. Anja is being controlled by Thelma and has no free will as this point whether she realizes it or not. Thelma seems to know her powers and how to use them finally (she isn't evil, per se, however) and isn't afraid to use them.

Watch out ladies, you're not going to know what hits you when Thelma takes a liking.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
THELMA is Trier's stern-faced take on the thematic dissection of embracing one's true id and freeing oneself from any extraneous shackles
lasttimeisaw12 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
A sexually awakening meet-cute laced with a preternatural conceit from Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier, THELMA, his fourth feature, instantly emits an uncanny thrill through its preamble with a frozen river, a doe-eyed deer and a rifle surprisingly pointing at a young girl's head by her father.

The girl is Thelma (Harboe), now an undergraduate in Oslo, but still in thrall to her parents' over-frequent telephone calls concerning her quotidian whereabouts, and her rigid Catholic upbringing doesn't quite chime in with her peers. Afflicted by epileptic fits, which mystically coincide with the presence of a fellow student Anja (Wilkins), to whom she feels attracted. Their inchoate romance hits an abrupt and unexplained abeyance when Thelma is under treatment of a triggered seizure for medical checkup. Guilt-driven by Anja's unaccountable vanishing, Thelma retreats to home and childhood tragedy resurfaces, and the film manages to find a way out for her with a confluence of sacrifice and miracle, garnished with a pinch of numinous enlightenment, which renders its empowering ending a puff of absurdity that might not be appreciated by everyone.

Trier grandly sinks his teeth into fabricating an atmospheric eeriness that permeates throughout Thelma's rude-awakening, even in the prosaic campus environs: a luminous library assailed by an avian outsider, a natatorium where terror of seclusion and drowning taking a spectacular visual form with flying colors and Thelma's dormitory building, lit by nocturnal luster where eldritch menace seeps from within. Thelma's rite-of-passage, from religious and familial suppression to physical arousing, until a final mental liberation, is conveyed with eloquence (a cracking tantalizing sequence amalgamated with a bringing-down-the-roof trepidation during a modern dance performance) and innovation (metaphors and animal symbols are deployed in good senses, whether it is the deer in the opening, the slithering snake in the psychedelic mid-stream, or the black bird purged near the end), though one might grouse that the student's life is pedestrianly exemplified by a strobing nightstand, casual get-togethers deadened by alcohol and smoke.

A convulsing (often in its literal sense) and pulsating Eili Harboe makes good in the center stage with both mettle and competence, but Kaya Wilkins's Anja is deficient in any thumbprint other than propelling the plot development in the mode of a hapless love interest, both Henrik Rafaelsen and Ellen Dorrit Petersen are swell as Thelma's conflicting parents, often muddling the water of the saint-or-sinner dichotomy. In the event, THELMA is Trier's stern-faced take on the thematic dissection of embracing one's true id and freeing oneself from any extraneous shackles, it is a bracingly crafted parable with one proviso, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!, that if one can live down with the key placement of a dead toddler in its moral conundrum that eventually peters out in its gnomic reconciliation.
7 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Watching ice freeze is more fun
michael1960-798-13898128 February 2018
Okay so watched this movie and all i can say is that all the people who gave it a 8,9 or 10 i am taking your names down and the next time you give a movie review any of these numbers i am going to avoid that movie like the plague ,and PLEASE -i understood the movie just next time give me some violence a bit of horror a hint of decent sex not this 5 minutes talking to your father on the phone with half minute pregnant pauses -hell if Readers Digest got hold of this movie and cut out all the parts that are padding this movie will run for maybe 20 minutes
26 out of 79 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Painfully slow to develop. Subliminally feminist and anti-male.
sbeall-9905627 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
By the time you get to the gist of it you are hoping for it to end. Typically horror/thrillers don't take an hour to let you know that's what kind of movies it is. For most of it I thought it was a coming of age movie with a sad epilepsy backstory. Other than the birds crashing into the window, I wasn't looking to turn on any lights.

Anyway, Her friend has a Dad who she doesn't speak to because he's a jerk - like all Dad's obviously are - she has a father who belittles her, and she's unknowingly a lesbian. Story of the times anymore, right? By the time the move is over, she's killed her brother and her father, but she's a ultimately a good person because she healed her Mother and brought back her girl friend so they can be lovers.

Moral of the story, if you are a guy you are stupid (can't explain how a mobile phone works), you generally suck and stay away from Thelma. The Dad should of shot her in the head at the beginning but men are stupid, remember?
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed