Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise

Static Mass Rating: 5/5

Original release: May 24th, 1991
Running time: 130 minutes

Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Callie Khouri

Cast: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Brad Pitt

Have you ever felt trapped? Desperate for adventure and fun? Would you have the confidence to throw caution to the wind and just do it?

Sometimes, I imagine what would happen if I just threw some clothes in the back of my chevy, and drove until I ran out of roads. That is why I loved this movie, as a young woman, the idea of just driving into the sunset is a fantasy.

Thelma & Louise

Director Ridley Scott brings the dream to life in the brilliant and exciting Thelma and Louise. Two women desperate to escape from the drudges of everyday life take off on an adventure, naïve to what trouble they’ll get into.

Louise (Susan Sarandon), a single waitress, takes her best friend Thelma (Geena Davis), a trapped and goofy housewife with a controlling husband, on a road trip. Armed with fishing rods and a gun, the women head off into the unknown.

After stopping at a local bar, Thelma is desperate to let her hair down. She has a few too many martinis and a few too many dances with a questionable man, and lands herself outside alone and vulnerable to him. Luckily, Louise is there to save her but things escalate and Louise points the gun and shoots.

Thelma & Louise

From this point on the women both know they’re on the run. We know that they will never be free and we’re with them, every step of the way.

The pair’s friendship is stretched to the limits as Thelma becomes more and more risque, looking for fun in all the wrong places. After she is seduced and robbed by a seemingly nice young man, J.D. (Brad Pitt), Thelma decides to take control and robs a convenience store to pay for petrol. Through thick and thin, these two stick together. Strong and independent, they provided release for women in the 1990’s.

Throughout it shows women finally being able to do what they want and speak their minds, for example, when they finally blow a mans truck to smithereens after his numerous degrading comments and vulgar actions. This caused controversy from critics and one of the most dramatic displays of this was from John Leo writing for U.S News and World Report, stating it was “toxic feminism on the big screen”. And they may be right in saying this is a feminist film, depicting the trouble that men could cause women through oppression, assault and theft – and I do agree that Thelma & Louise speaks loudly on behalf of women, it tells them to take the wheel, and control their life.

Thelma & Louise

The release of Thelma & Louise marked a turning point in the road movie genre. Conventionally, a male protagonist would take off in his car, searching for himself, maybe finding a lady along the way who helps him realize who he is but then ultimately ending up settled down after travelling all around the country.

This is a film that breaks down the normal conventions and throws two females in the lead roles. At the beginning, both are looking for fun and escapism, but after Louise kills the man from the bar, they’re suddenly running away from normal society and avoiding capture, and by the end, there is no escape for these two women, and one of the most influential and popular endings follows this.

Thelma & Louise

Not only do Thelma and Louise identify with 1990’s women, but they’ve also became gay icons. People interpreted the two women’s friendship as unrealized love. It is very true that these two love each other very deeply, but it’s not a romantic love, it’s friendship and bliss with each other and nothing sexual.

It is hard to sum up how I felt, what empowerment it provides and how loveable the characters are. Though they are criminals who are also portrayed as victims, a first for mainstream America. Their legacy will live on, and whenever I go on a road trip with my friends, I will always think about where I could end up and the adventures may follow.

Thelma & Louise

About Alison Devlin

Alison Devlin

Alison Devlin is in her final year of studying Media, aiming to be a professional critic in a magazine. She occupies her time with writing in her blog , making short art films, writing short scripts, doodling in her notebook, decorating her room with movie posters, watching documentaries about wildlife and taking calls as a receptionist at her part time job.

Her favourite films include Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, The Woman in Black, and Alice in Wonderland. An admirer of Quentin Tarantino, she enjoys reading about and watching postmodernism programmes, such as ‘The Mighty Boosh’ and ‘Family Guy’. Also a devoted fan to Alfred Hitchcock, she hopes to one day make cameo appearances in her own written films.

You can follow her on Twitter @devlinalison.