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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Thelma & Louise


Starring: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Brad Pitt and Michael Madsen
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 15
Available 06 February 2012

Shrugging off their cloying domesticity, Thelma and Louise take a road trip to get out of town and let their hair down. What starts off as fun takes a turn for the tragic, when Thelma is nearly raped in a car park. Although Louise, who had turned up with a gun, initially lets the rapist go, she shoots him when he won’t shut up. On the run the two women are chased by Detective Hal Slocumb, who becomes sympathetic to the girls plight. The girls, behaviour spirals out of control as they try to reach Mexico…

Thelma and Louise (1991 - 2 hr, 09 min, 36 sec) is a film of female friendship directed by Ridley Scott from a Callie Khouri script. The film won fifteen awards, including an Oscar for Khouri and was nominated for a further twenty-six, the film mainly lost to The Silence of the Lambs.

Much was made at the time as to the film's themes, with some taking it as a feminist movie about women taking control of their lives - living in much the way that men are portrayed, shooting guns and blowing up sh*t - whilst others saw it as a film about women taking on the man’s role rather than forging something of their own. Much of this debate is spurious, at its heart the film is about the friendship between Thelma and Louise, wrapped around a structure that falls somewhere between Butch and Sundance and Bonnie and Clyde.

What could have been quite a depressing movie is snaked through with a vein of humorous optimism. Even the ending, which should feel like the ultimate downer, with the famous drive into the Grand Canyon, still feels like an affirmation of freedom for the two women.

The male roles are relegated to supporting cast, from the young Brad Pitt (J.D.), who not only steals the girl’s money, but also provides Thelma with a sexual awakening, to Harvey Keitel (Detective Hal Slocumb) whose investigation fills in some of the women's backgrounds, especially giving reasons for Louise’s reason for being so terrified of being arrested in Texas.

The remastered Blu-ray has an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 with audio options for English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, Portuguese DTS 5.1 and Spanish DTS 5.1, with subtitles for a number of European languages.

The extras on the disc contain two full length commentaries, the first by Ridley Scott, the second with Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis and Callie Khouri. Well worth a listen for their insights to the film.

Thelma and Louise: The Last journey (59 min, 43 sec), which pretty much covers everything you might want to know about the film, with contributions from nearly all the principle players, is easily one of the more entertaining film docs I’ve seen in a while. Original Theatrical Featurette, with optional promotional narration (5 min, 23 sec). Sixteen deleted and/or extended scenes and the Extended Ending.

I’m not really sure why there was controversy around the fear of men not liking the film. In the last twenty years, it is true to say that female driven movies continue to be a rarity, we have become accustomed to seeing portrayals of strong females, what problem existed in 1991 is now moot. The film's story and performances transcend both politics and sexual stereotypes to provide a compelling and cohesive watching experience.


Charles Packer

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