Thelma and Louis

I just got back from the first in a series of films that will be showing for the Image Film Festival.
Thelma and Louis was about these two women who were running from the abusive men in their lives, a husband and a boyfriend, etc. After the movie there was a panel and open discussion. The overall theme seemed to be how the movie was symbolic of the time that the film was made, when sexual assault and other forms of female oppression were prevalent and justice was unseen.
Really, when I stepped back and listened to the trends that these people were pointing out…I was noticing something different. When someone stood up and made a comment about how at the end, the two women chose to drive off the cliff instead of surrender, they saw that as the height of the rollercoster ride and as a symbol of freedom. Really, I saw it as the epitome of despair. Through the whole movie…I saw this theme. Everywhere the women went, it was like more trouble and abuse awaited them. Like the truck driver that seemed to pop up everywhere. This to me was symbolic of how there was no refuge, there was no hope. At home, they would get smacked, they go to a bar…they get smacked and raped, etc. This truckdriver wasn’t a funny comedy relief, he was symbolic of how everywhere they tried to run…the gross oppression of male domination and exploitation was following them.
One question that nags me is why were the cops portrayed as such wusses? There’s one part where they’re all staking out at Thelma’s place with her husband and they’re watching soap operas. And when Thelma and Louis get pulled over by the cop and they turn on him and put a gun to his head…he starts crying when they lock him in his trunk. He was crying!? And the only decent man that actually wanted to help them was the PI who kept telling the head cheif not to shoot at them and to lighten up. I’m not sure what they were driving at.
An overall feel for the movie was not so much cutesy as much as it was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I mean, there are tons of parallels. Like the end for instance, you see both heros running full throttle into death…because they would rather die than give in. And in both cases, you don’t get to see the heros actually encounter their fate, you see them at the top of the arch, still going up.
So yea, those are a few of my thoughts about the film…I’m done venting now. The End.

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