Starring: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald, Brad Pitt
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written By: Callie Khouri
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 2 hr 10 min
If you were compiling a list of classic road trip movies, Thelma & Louise would likely be included into your top ten. This film however, could also appear in a bunch of other great lists. A classic movie cars list. A best of Ridley Scott list. Even a random small appearances by Brat Pitt list! This film is pretty iconic in many ways, let alone for the legendary ending.
At its core it’s a story about two women finding themselves after Louise kills a man for trying to rape Thelma. Knowing full well their actions will not be viewed in context with the situation, they hit the road and make a run for the Mexican border. Their journey sees both women re-discover who they are away from the trappings of abusive spouses, and societies expectations of what a woman should be. Their adventures on the fast-moving road toughen Thelma up, and allow Louise to lighten up. They grow as characters and if you can connect with that journey, and these two women, this is one really special trip.
Those last elements I mentioned are the highlights of Thelma and Louise. Their road trip, and the performances by Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis are so good, the rest of the movie can feel a little stale in comparison. Every time we cut away to Brat Pitt trying to be a male model, or Micheal Masden doing his best smolder look. I just wanted to get back on the road with the ladies.
On the road, Ridley Scott’s visual take on the American countryside is stunning, and Han Zimmer’s score adds a great atmospheric tone to the film. The old 66′ Thunderbird Convertible also makes for the perfect road trip car, and if you ever fancied retracing Thelma and Louise’s journey across America, here’s an honest guess at the route they took.
Your enjoyment of this film depends on whether you can suspend your disbelief at the unlikely scale and methods used by the police to track down Thelma and Louise. If you can focus on the two leads, and connect to those characters and care about their journey, this film will really work for you. If you’re taking on this film for the first time I envy you. The first viewing of this film is the best!
I re-watched this on Blu-ray and the results were great. That 66 Thunderbird looks great tearing over the desert roads. If your local theater were re-screening this, certainly try to watch this on the big screen. At home, a HD viewing on a nice big TV is recommended. You’ll do the film and yourself a disservice watching this on a tablet or smart-phone.
Best moment(s) for me:
If you asked me what I thought the best moment was after I saw this for the first time. I would have to say the ending. After subsequent viewings, that end is still great, but it loses some of its power when you know what’s going to happen. When I watch this film now I just love the scenes with just Thelma and Louise on the road. The landscapes look great, and the car looks amazing. Thelma and Louise are free and on an adventure – getting into trouble! It’s classic stuff, and makes me want to jump in a car and take a road trip!