Film Review: 'Thelma and Louise' (1991)
Yes, I come late to this scene---more than two decades have passed since this Oscar winner was made. I had heard the name forever, and if I am not mistaken, had even seen a clipping or two of the Oscar award ceremony then, on our grand old Sony back in India with dad and others. Yet, film watching was not my pet hobby then, as it is not now. Moreover, now that I do have frequent access to streaming movies, to enjoy the latest in the luxury of my home, with chai and all, I often end up seeing the Hindi movies, since Hindi cinema has come such a long way too. From just women dancing around trees and the hero flying off men in ear-splitting fist-fights (dhishum-dhishum), to the Dhobhi Ghaats and 3 Idiots......it is a pleasure to watch contemporary Indian cinema and the range of topics that it manages to cover and meaningfully portray. Anyhow, so TL was always there for me, but I had not sat down to watch it. Until, I read a recent interview by Geena Davis. She is now an activist of sorts, seriously directing her resources to the study of the impact of women characters in TV and films, on children and on little girls in particular. In the interview she alluded to the movie. It was enlightening to read Davis's findings and I have always liked the roles played by Susan Sharandon. I was motivated to watch TL. Well then, in a total of 4 sittings (as and when the toddler slept early at night ----earlier than me), I finished this movie.
First for the end: I was left crying....I was moved, I was absolutely taken by surprise.....just did not see it coming. What a poignant end to a big picture. There was so much buildup of their being apprehended by the Police---a kind police and a brutal police. Yet, the director chose to end it the way he did---lovely (I do not want to give away the suspense for anyone of you out there, who like me has not seen the movie till now).
Second, loved the cross-country they did----loved the American landscape for the splendid beauty it offers. Life, away from the two coasts, is indeed so plain and simple that you ain't seen nothin' if you ain't seen the non-coasts of USA.
Third, loved the sweet friendship between the two girls.....its not sexual....its just what good old friendship used to be about....being protective of one another...being understanding...and above all....being there for one another. Their relationship is tender in the limitations that each of them has in her position in life and in her character, yet their friendship is all encompassing. Very sweet indeed.
Last, but not the least---superb performance---by the 2 leading ladies. From their accents, to nuances of walk and talk and dress and eye-movement, they did it all...suited where they were and did it so well.
This was an empowering movie of sorts.....particularly for women. Women in the movie did everything they wanted to do, but only because they wanted to, and to anyone who tried to treat them one way for them being women, these women gave a real fistful.....and yet all this was built up gradually.....really did leave the audience feeling the gradual transformation...the metamorphosis.
Two thumbs up!