THELMA & LOUISE is a rowdy, feminist road movie in which a pair of gutsy, independent women discover the strength of sisterhood during a hell-raising, joy-riding escape from the laws of men. One of the most hotly debated films of 1991, it features outstanding performances from stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. Louise (Sarandon) is a strong-willed waitress...read more
THELMA & LOUISE is a rowdy, feminist road movie in which a pair of gutsy, independent women discover the strength of sisterhood during a hell-raising, joy-riding escape from the laws of men. One of the most hotly debated films of 1991, it features outstanding performances from stars Geena
Davis and Susan Sarandon.
Louise (Sarandon) is a strong-willed waitress who convinces her friend Thelma (Davis), a timid housewife, to join her on a weekend camping trip. Against the wishes of Darryl (Christopher McDonald), her possessive, sexist husband, Thelma sneaks away for the outing. Along the way the pair let loose
at a country bar, drinking and dancing; Thelma flirts mildly with a handsome but abusive man, Harlan (Timothy Carhart). Harlan attempts to rape Thelma in the parking lot and is discovered by Louise, who shoots and kills him. The women decide that the police are not likely to believe their version
of events, so they flee in a panic.
From Arkansas they head through Oklahoma, where they pick up J.D. (Brad Pitt), a young cowboy stud who has a one-night stand with Thelma. He also steals the money Louise had convinced Jimmy (Michael Madsen), her sometime boyfriend, to withdraw from her savings account. Again victimized by men,
they turn desperado, robbing stores to finance their attempted escape to Mexico. Because Louise refuses to take the direct route through Texas (where, it turns out, she herself was once raped), their getaway turns into an extended driving tour of the Southwest. Along the way they feel oddly
empowered by their ability to assert themselves against authority, and develop a penchant for improvised holdups. But all the while, the FBI is closing in.
Critical reaction to THELMA & LOUISE indicated that many male viewers felt threatened by these pistol-packing female outlaws, but complaints about the movie's chauvinist treatment of men are largely unjustified. Gender warfare aside, THELMA & LOUISE is a fun, breezy roadtrip across the Western
landscape. In the natural grandeur of this setting, director Scott abandons his trademark high-tech atmospherics in favor of a bright, glossy, photographic style that makes picture postcards of the Route 66 backdrop. Yet actresses Davis and Sarandon manage to upstage even Monument Valley. Together
they forge a believable and appealing bond that carries the film through some of its improbable plot twists. Even the daring finish--a freeze-frame apotheosis of the duo's leap into the Grand Canyon--works, thanks to the vividness of Davis's and Sarandon's portrayals. It all adds up to a highly