Today’s Prayer Focus

Thelma and Louise

Reviewed by: Brett Willis

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
2 hr. 9 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Cover Graphic from “Thelma and Louise”
Featuring: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brad Pitt
Director: Ridley Scott
Producer: _____
Distributor: _____

This is a “buddy” movie about two ordinary women who innocently decide to break out of their everyday lives and somehow end up running from the law.

Louise (Susan Sarandon) is going on a weekend fishing vacation, and she persuades Thelma (Geena Davis) to disobey her husband and come along. When Thelma flirts with a bar patron and he tries to rape her, Louise pulls a gun and rescues her friend; but in the process, she uses excessive force. The remainder of the film is one long huntdown drama/chase scene, as Louise refuses to negotiate with the authorities because of a bad prior experience with the system.

Profanity is extreme. Besides the attempted rape scene, Thelma later has implied sex with a drifter (Brad Pitt). There are several scenes of violence or threatened violence, as the stakes keep going up for the two fugitives. The script is constructed so that Thelma and Louise are more or less forced into some of the desperate measures they take. The film has a definite feminist edge, portraying the women as victims of a patriarchal society.

Although a few scenes are played for laughs, the subject matter is too serious to serve as light entertainment. And the overall mood of the film, which pits men and women against each other, is not healthy for anyone (Christian or otherwise) who takes its message too seriously. I recommend skipping this one unless you’re a well-balanced, mature adult.

Viewer Comments
Just a note on something that took place after this review was already written. In a conference of Hollywood biggies about movie violence (held in response to a school shooting by a first-grader), “Thelma and Louise” screenwriter Callie Khouri said that she intended the first scene of violence (in which Louise rescues Thelma from an attempted rape, and then shoots the smart-mouthed rapist AFTER both women are already safe) to convey a sad message of Louise having sealed her fate with that ill-advised act. Khouri claimed she was shocked when she attended a theater screening and the audience cheered loudly at this scene. Assuming that she’s telling the truth, Khouri is admitting that she was out of touch with how her Oscar-winning screenplay would affect real people. The rapist certainly deserved punishment, but not summary vigilante justice. If that’s what feminism is all about, then unborn children aren’t the only ones endangered by it.
Brett Willis (reviewer), age 49
I resisted seeing the movie for awhile, because of all the publicity, until I had to watch it for a class I was taking. It is fantastic. Thelma is trapped by a boorish husband who takes her for granted, and Louise is haunted by an act of violence visited upon her by a man. The film speaks about how women (especially independent ones) are often put down in this world by men who do not appreciate them. Sarandon and Davis are perfect as the leads. If you have a problem with feminist ideas, this is not for you. The violence, profanity, and brief sex scenes aren’t for kids, but this might be appropriate for older, more mature teenagers. My Ratings: [3/5]
Hillari Hunter, age 38
This is a very grim movie. The appeal and attractiveness of the characters played so well by Sarandon and Davis camouflage the fact that they are in fact criminals, like Bonnie and Clyde. Yes, we can see how they are propelled into their crime by unfortunate circumstances and emotional pain. But this is the kind of movie that seduces people into insensitivity to sin and crime. The movie compels us to sympathize with the criminal women and like them and give them victim status. At the end, they opt for driving their car off a cliff rather submitting to authorities. I found myself riveted by this movie, but I also realized how bad the message was and had the spiritual capacity to extricate myself out of its subliminal influences. Hollywood at its most dangerous. My Ratings: [1½/4]