Film review: Thelma & Louise (1991), directed by Ridley Scott
Louise (Susan Sarandon) and Thelma (Geena Davis) are going away for a couple of days to a cabin somewhere. Thelma’s husband Darryl (Christopher McDonald) is a jerk, Louise is having issues with her boyfriend Jimmy (Michael Madsen), and it would just be great to get away for a while.
The road trip starts out well. They stop at a bar, and Thelma gets drunk, dancing with some guy called Harlan (Timothy Carhart) … who is such a charming lad he decides he’ll have sex with her whether she wants him to or not. Because he’s also a jerk. It’s the last time he’ll ever try anything like that with anyone again. Or anything else, for that matter. As a result, the two women suddenly find themselves on the run from the law …
Also starring Harvey Keitel as Hal, Stephen Tobolowsky as Max, and Brad Pitt, in the role that made him famous, as J.D, the charming rascal.
One thing is made painfully clear watching this film: men are scum. Law enforcement, who say they’re on the women’s side share misogynistic jokes, and the rest are either very controlling, two-timing spouses, or rapists, or dirty-minded lorry drivers, or con artists. If that’s still Alabama today, I’ll be quite happy to give it a wide berth.
On the plus side, Jimmy seems like a nice enough guy. Good to see there’s at least one.
Stellar performances from Sarandon and Davis. Sarandon is the level-headed one (most of the time), while Davis goes from timid housewife with an unfulfilled sex life to gutsy armed robber. Thelma’s schoolgirl crush on J.D. is funny, but painfully naive.
This was the second time I’ve seen this film, I think. I have vague memories of having seen it at a friend’s house in the 90s, when I was maybe 13 years old or something like that. There were lots of girly giggles when Brad Pitt showed up, that’s about what I can remember.
Thelma & Louise is a road movie. Is it particularly feminine? Not really. It’s not a typical chick flick. It happens to star two strong women, but that doesn’t mean it’s a women only film. It’s a moving film that you can’t help getting sucked into. As I already knew the ending, it didn’t come as a surprise, but it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the film. It’s marvellous.
4 out of 5 Chevys.