10 April 2003 | Old Joe
Somebody said get a life. so they did!
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 the movie, 'Thelma and Louise'. The tradition of the American road trip is shown in such a refreshing way in this movie, with its two lead characters people who are fed up with life, and no longer take any crap from the men that they live with or that they meet. Thelma and Louise is a film that will make you 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)