Intérpretes: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Brad Pitt
EUA 1991, 130′, M/16Q
Thelma e Louise é um filme que vale a pena ver e rever. De uma penada só, este filme reinventou o feminismo e o “road movie”, fundindo-os num só. Louise (Susan Sarandon) e Thelma (Geena Davis) são amigas. Ambas vivem relações amorosas insatisfatórias, pelo que decidem fazer-se à estrada para uns dias de liberdade absoluta. À saída de um bar, Louise acaba por matar um homem que tentava violar Thelma e ambas se transformam em fugitivas da justiça. Harvey Keitel e Brad Pitt actuam em papéis secundários nesta saga de duas mulheres realizada por Ridley Scott com mão de mestre. Na altura (1992), ambas as protagonistas foram nomeadas para o Óscar na categoria de Melhor Actriz e Scott recebeu a sua primeira nomeação para o Óscar de Melhor Realizador. PUBLICO.PT
Callie Khouri conquistou o galardão na categoria de Melhor Argumento Original.
Thelma & Louise
By Roger Ebert 1991
“Thelma & Louise” is in the expansive, visionary tradition of the American road picture. It celebrates the myth of two carefree souls piling into a 1956 T-Bird and driving out of town to have some fun and raise some hell. We know the road better than that, however, and we know the toll it exacts: before their journey is done, these characters with have undergone a rite of passage, and will have discovered themselves.
What sets “Thelma & Louise” aside from the great central tradition of the road picture — a tradition roomy enough to accommodate “Easy Rider,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Badlands,” “Midnight Run” and “Rain Man” — is that the heroes are women this time: working-class girlfriends from a small Arkansas town, one a waitress, the other a housewife, both probably ready to describe themselves as utterly ordinary, both containing unexpected resources.
We meet them on days that help to explain why they’d like to get away for the weekend. Thelma (Geena Davis) is married to a man puffed up with self-importance as the district sales manager of a rug company. He sees his wife as a lower order of life, to be tolerated so long as she keeps her household duties straight and is patient with his tantrums. Louise (Susan Sarandon) waits tables in a coffee shop and is involved with a musician who is never ever going to be ready to settle down, no matter how much she kids herself.
So the girls hit the road for a weekend (Thelma is so frightened of her husband she leaves him a note rather than tell him). They’re almost looking to get into trouble, in a way; they wind up in a saloon not too many miles down the road, and Thelma, a wild woman after a couple of margueritas, begins to get caught up in lust after a couple of dances with an urban cowboy.
That leads, as such flirtations sometimes tragically do, to an attempted rape in the parking lot. And after Louise comes to her friend’s rescue, there is a sudden, violent event that ends with the man’s death. And the two women hit the road for real. They are convinced that no one would ever believe their story — that the only answer for them is to run, and to hide.
Now comes what in a more ordinary picture would be the predictable stuff: The car running down lonely country roads in front of a blood-red sunset, that kind of thing, with a lot of country music on the soundtrack. “Thelma & Louise” does indeed contain its share of rural visual extravaganza and lost railroad blues, but it has a heart, too. Sarandon and Davis find in Callie Khouri’s script the materials for two plausible, convincing, lovable characters. And as actors they work together like a high-wire team, walking across even the most hazardous scenes without putting a foot wrong.
They have adventures along the way, some sweet, some tragic, including a meeting with a shifty but sexy young man named J.D. (Brad Pitt), who is able, like the dead saloon cowboy, to exploit Thelma’s sexual hungers, left untouched by the rug salesman. They also meet old men with deep lines on their faces, and harbingers of doom, and state troopers, and all the other inhabitants of the road.
Of course they become the targets of a manhunt. Of course every cop in a six-state area would like to bag them. But back home in Arkansas there’s one cop (Harvey Keitel) who has empathy for them, who sees how they dug themselves into this hole and are now about to get buried in it. He tries to reason with them. To “keep the situation from snowballing.” But it takes on a peculiar momentum of its own, especially as Thelma and Louise begin to grow intoxicated with the scent of their own freedom — and with the discovery that they possess undreamed-of resources and capabilities.
“Thelma & Louise” was directed by Ridley Scott, from Britain, whose previous credits (“Blade Runner,” “Black Rain,” “Legend”) show complete technical mastery but are sometimes not very interested in psychological questions. This film shows a great sympathy for human comedy, however, and it’s intriguing the way he helps us to understand what’s going on inside the hearts of these two women — why they need to do what they do.
Thelma and Louise
Reviewed by Cynthia Fuchs
On the face of it, the concept of a women’s buddy/road movie seems retro and irrelevant. Why emulate a formula so familiar and so fraught with reprehensible politics? It’s sort of like becoming a Marine to declare equality with the guys. Why join up when it’s the system itself that’s invidious?
Against such odds, Ridley Scott’s “Thelma and Louise” goes some distance toward rewriting the cliches of cinematic outlaw-heroism in the male mode. It might seem somewhat of a departure for Scott, well-known for neo-existentialist texts like “Alien”, “Blade Runner”, and “Black Rain”. For compared to these claustrophobic meditations on the meaning of humanity, “Thelma and Louise” is fairly exhilarated, grinding its gears from charming to outrageous to utterly predictable.
Callie Khouri’s script has a diehard romanticism reminiscent of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Against the background of the ever-photographable Southwest American desert, Louise (the divine Susan Sarandon) and Thelma (Geena Davis) find themselves on the run from the Law, in this case husbands, lovers, and cops. Onto this rather basic framework Scott drapes his usual stylish imagery: neon lights, rainy streets, and provocative widescreen close-ups. All this makes the view from Louise’s ’66 Thunderbird convertible rather ominous.
Indeed, contrary to the trailer’s giddy promise of good ole gals out on a spree, the movie quickly turns dark and desperate. Small town waitress Louise (she calls customers “honey”) and beleaguered housewife Thelma (alone in her kitchen, she sneaks bites of a frozen Three Musketeers) take off for a weekend of mountain fishing. They stop at a roadside dive, where the naive Thelma (who’s been with neanderthal husband Darryl since she was 14) drinks and dances too much with a local scuzball, who then assaults her in the parking lot.
That Louise stops the rape with a gun turns the action around. Even as the audience cheers her, however, it’s clear that the murder only sets the stage for later no-win encounters with other yahoos: they’re foul, egotistical, and mulish grotesques, the kind of stereotypical boors who populate women’s nightmare mindscapes. The startling appearance of a Rasta bicyclist, complete with a cigar-sized reefer, alleviates this onslaught of white brutes. He’s oblivious and rather obvious comic relief, but what a strange sight he is in this movie.
Thelma and Louise, trapped in their own apocalyptic helix, never see him, yet the brief respite he provides for us seems costly; that is, the film seems unable to address race in as clearly progressive-minded way as it does gender politics. The FBI agents, who take up the chase after the murder, are also recycled cut-outs, suits with attitudes (though they watch Cary Grant movies during downtime). The exception is Harvey Keitel – of all people – as a cop with a semblance of a heart and some sympathy for what he calls these “poor girls.” It should come as no surprise that his compassion is continually lost in the shuffle of pasty out-of-towners with wiretaps and lots of guns.
As liaison between Louise and the Law, Keitel can afford to be impotent in ways that the women cannot. Their “freedom” is limited to private celebratory moments: they whoop along with the car radio or notice some guy’s “cute ass.” It’s “them-against- the-world”, but since the world here is overwhelmingly male and high-teched, there’s never any contest, only speeding along the road to an inevitable and gorgeous New Mexican nowhere. Pretty to think so. Erratic and impassioned, this is a journey into diminishing options. Recurring shots of the terminally loutish Darryl and the specter of Louise’s secret past (hint: it involves the legal system’s failure to protect abused women) insure that the women can never go back.
In the midst of all this predetermined delirium, there are moments of subtle, and miss-able, insight. When Thelma robs a convenience store, it seems the plot is thudding into the expected. But a fast cut to the feds watching the videotape gives her screwballish performance a resounding context: an audience of men who can’t believe a woman could do such a thing, an audience short on imagination and energy.
As if to rebuke this potential audience, the movie offers some supercharged images, as when a hot, sweaty, dirty, and fed- up Louise and Thelma take on a particularly lecherous trucker: he makes rude tongue gestures from his cab and they encourage him to pull over. They then shoot his shiny tanker to hell, the camera covering multiple angles: from behind the angry women to an aerial spectacular. He has no recourse and deems them “Bitches from hell!” While the repeated image of his exploding vehicle seems like overkill, it’s also strangely satisfying, in that retro-road movie kind of way.
Apresentação de Margarida Mateus