Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What's Next On My List? Thelma & Louise

I mentioned on the list I did last week that my sister (who is 8 years my senior) is kind enough to re-watch classics with me and the other day we watched Young Guns and then:

"We're not in the middle of nowhere, but we can see it."

The story is that of two best friends who head of for a short vacation, when all hell breaks lose. Thelma is assaulted and Louise saves her by shooting the man who tried to rape her after being provoked. Unsure of what to do, Louise decides to move to Mexico and tells Thelma that she can choose what to do: go with her or go back home.
A detective from Arkansas Hal Slocombe tries to find them, as he figures out that perhaps their intent was never murder, but they are running because the law and justice have failed Louise before.They get the money they need to get to Mexico, but it gets stolen by a young hunk who cons Thelma one evening. Having really nothing but a gun, Thelma robs a little market and they continue their road; they steal the gun of a police officer; and they blow up the tank of a trucker who keeps insulting them. At the end they are cornered in the Grand Canyon - and being completely sure that the law will fail them again, they decide to go on one last ride together off the cliff.

I knew the ending of the movie, but I had no idea what it was about. I mean that I couldn't imagine what on Earth happened that made them take that last, let's say, leap of faith. From the first shooting on I had about one thing on my mind: This just cannot get any worse. Oh my God, it did just get worse... I was in constant fear, rooting for the girls. And when you hear about all of these horrible rape stories - you are very happy that she shot that son of a bitch! It is awful what it did to them, but still you feel that perhaps Louise got some kind of closure, as we get an insight that something like this happened to her in Texas.
That said, I really liked the movie. Although it is very serious, there is place for a couple of jokes which help in relieving tension. And well the ending just makes you cry. Not easily though, because at that time people had a problem with ending serious movies: just as they drive off the cliff we fade out and we see a montage of the happiest moments of this nightmare and a way too happy song comes up - and you just feel weird, because you are sure that you aren't supposed to enjoy this song as much as you do.
So let me crack down on the couple of things that I hated. First of all, the one thing that bothered me to death all throughout the movie was Thelma's behavior after the attempted rape. She of course feels bad, but the next day she goes down to the pool in her bikini... OK, then they pick up a random guy named J.D. because she really likes his behind and then she sleeps with him. WHAT? If somebody tried to rape me, not only would I not want to waltz around in my bikini, I would NEVER want to talk to a guy again! There is this theme of Thelma getting them into trouble because of her poor choice in men - but seriously what the fuck? Yes, yes, I will agree with you that her husband Darryl is a total asshole - and he manages to anger her even more. And I know that the behavior of J.D. doesn't even compare to the rapist, but I still wouldn't want to touch another man ever again! That part of the story was completely wasted on me. I'm not saying that I liked the rape story line, but I do feel that it was necessary for us to discover the real side of Louise at least. There was, however no need for Thelma to sleep with J.D.. He could have robbed them several other times.
My second problem was Louise's boyfriend Jimmy. I really wanted to love these two, but I just didn't feel the chemistry between them. My sister said that perhaps that was on purpose, seeing that really their relationship was doomed either way. And I can accept that, but still I prefer droopy and touchy love on the screen and I missed that a bit. Even though, acting-wise I was very convinced about the love the two had for each other, still I just didn't feel the chemistry.
Lastly I had a problem with detective Slocombe. It is sweet that he finds out what Louise had to deal with in the past and he is not convinced that the two committed murder. Initially he is looking for them only because they were probably the last two witnesses before the rapist's murder and he is looking for answers.
Perhaps they are only running because they are scared. And every evidence does point that way and when they catch J.D. after he robbed them, he tells him that he is ruined if something happens to them because he took their life savings. In the beginning, however, he lurks around and breaks into Louise's apartment like a stalker and you get the impression that he is sure those two killed him on purpose and he needs to bring them to justice. His character traits didn't really define themselves until the second half of the movie and I didn't see the point of that. I might be wrong here, this is really nit-picking for some people, but it just felt off to me.

Beside these little things, I can see why this movie is a classic. It is really a great movie. If you like America, then this movie is for you: Diners, country bars, travelling through Route 66 and Monument Valley; pumping loud music through and old convertible and spending time with your best friend. To me, that is the American Dream :D but I'll will write about that shortly in a personal entry.
Watch it. See a great movie from the 90's that tells a heartbreaking story of two girls that you are going to fall in love with in a couple of seconds.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _ 

Thelma - Geena Davis
Louise - Susan Sarandon
Hal Slocombe - Harvey Keitel
J.D. - Brad Pitt

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