Thelma and Louise (1991)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Callie Khouri
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Brad Pitt
Thelma and Louise want to get away for a while. They both have reasons to get out of their little Arkansas town. When they head out in their ’66 Thunderbird they have nothing but relaxation on their minds. Unfortunately, their plans are derailed when they kill a rapist and end up on the run.
Add Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) to the list of directors who should have an Oscar by now. This film is another example of his skills behind the scenes. This time he had a great story by Callie Khouri to work with, as well as an incredible cast. For Khouri this was her breakout moment in Hollywood. Her work earned her an Oscar for Best Screenplay. The cast has a wealth of talent including Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking), Geena Davis (A League of Their Own), Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction), Michael Madsen (Kill Bill: Vol. 1), and Brad Pitt (Moneyball).
The acting in this film is very nicely done. I was impressed with the cast and their ability to adapt to these interesting roles. Susan Sarandon was especially good in her role, managing to keep the emotion coming from her character. Davis was equally good thanks to her ability to play a whole range of emotions. Together they brought a ton of chemistry to the film. Their friendship and their differences really drive the action in this film.
All of these actors benefited from a really nicely written script. Between this script and some great direction this movie seems to have all of the elements needed. Ridley Scott isn’t necessarily known for films like this, but he brought his own brand of intensity to the story. Like some of his other films, Scott created a film that builds upon itself and continually ramps up the action.
I have one complaint with this film. Without spoiling the story, I think the end cheats the story a bit. The action in this film continues to build to an almost frantic pace. At a moment when I expected Ridley Scott to swoop in and make the climax amazing he took a route that was quite different. This doesn’t hurt the movie too much, but it’s not the ending I think the story deserved. This might also feel more pronounced since the film is over two hours long, allowing for a lot of connection to the characters.
I think this movie did a lot of things right. It was recognized with a six Oscar nominations, winning Best Screenplay. The commercial success that followed was also impressive. It’s also created one of the iconic endings in movie history. If you’re interested in great drama and a powerful story of friendship I suggest seeing this film. I give this one 4.8 out of 5 stars.