Thelma

2017

Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Mystery / Romance / Thriller

77
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 7 10 17169

Synopsis


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862.5 MB
1280*534
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 9 / 82
1.77 GB
1920*800
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 8 / 100

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 8 / 10

"I know there's something wrong with me", but what exactly?

"Thelma" (2017 release from Norway; 116 min.) brings the story of university student Thelma. As the movie opens, we see young Thelma and her dad walking in the snowy woods, and when they encounter a deer, dad aims his riffle first at the deer, then.... at Thelma. Whoa! We then go to today, as Thelma, just entering university in Oslo, has a difficult time finding her way. Then one day, as she is in the library/study hall, Thelma suffers a seizure. Following that incident, Anja, another student, reaches out to Thelma to see if she's okay. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest from Norwegian writer-director director Joachim Trier, who previously gave us the excellent "Louder Than Bombs" (2015) and before that the even better "Oslo, August 31st" (2011). Here he goes a very different direction. Trier brings us Thelma, an 18 yr. old who grew up in a very conservative/religious/rural setting but now finds freedom in the big city and, while feeling guilty about it, is nevertheless quite eager to explore this newly found freedom. The movie is paced quite slowly, and I mean that as a compliment, as Trier takes his time to explore and provide full characters. After the first seizure, Thelma gets scared and confesses "I know there's something wrong with me", but what exactly? And what causes thee seizures? All is revealed in the second hour of the movie... I shan't say more! Eili Harboe is outstanding in the title role, and I can only imagine that she will soon be making her debut in US movies. In fact, I could easily see how "Thelma" is one of those movies that Hollywood wants to remake--Hollywood style of course. Let's hope I am dead wrong on this one. "Thelma" is 180 degrees away from Hollywood mainstream, and it should stay that way,

"Thelma" opened without any fanfare or advertising at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this weekend, and seeing that this was directed by Joachim Trier was good enough for me to check it out. So glad I did. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended so-so at best (6 people including myself), and that leads me to think this won't play long in the theater... If you are in the mood for a top-notch foreign psychological drama with hints of the supernatural, I readily recommend that you check out "Thelma", be it in the theater (while you still can), on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "Thelma" is a WINNER.

Reviewed by ockiemilkwood 8 / 10

Beautiful Horror, But NOT a Happy Ending

1) This is not a happy ending, not just two female lovers walking into the sunset together. Thelma controls Anja, just as Thelma is herself controlled by disinhibited, subconscious drives (the id). These drives made Thelma involuntarily kill her baby brother and father, and put her mother in a wheelchair. Thelma similarly involuntarily controls Anja, making her breakup with her boyfriend and bringing her to stand outside her apartment window. Anja's love for Thelma is also involuntary. Thelma violates Anja's individuality, her boundaries. Thelma subconsciously makes Anja touch her sexually in the concert hall, just as she suffers lascivious fantasies when she thinks she's under the influence of marijuana. Thelma's father explains this.

So what will happen when Thelma and Anja have a quarrel, if love turns to hate, or when Thelma doesn't get her way with Anja or when she becomes jealous of Anja? Will she set her on fire, as she did her father, or bury her under ice, as she did her baby brother?

2) The movie is beautifully told, using images rather than chatter to convey its story. The images are fine, as is the soundtrack. The movie has a dreamy quality, in keeping with its descent into the subconscious - the line between reality and the subconscious blurs.

There's unity from beginning to end and of form and content. Recurrent themes and images are seamlessly woven throughout, like her father being set on fire, recalling his holding Thelma's hand over an open flame when she was a child; and like the snake, which we first see entering Thelma's grandmother's bed before we even know she has an institutionalized grandmother and which recurs in Thelma's sexual fantasy, both as a phallic symbol and a reference to the evil serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Information is intelligently, gracefully revealed, holding our attention, building suspense, in a subtle process of discovery, both for us and Thelma.

PS. The film's calm purity and minimalism, in contrast to its horror, reminds one of Let the Right One In (08, also Sweden).

Reviewed by mattiasflgrtll6 8 / 10

I want to see it again already.

I feel like in the future, I might appreciate this movie even more. You really have to respect the ethics of it. Odder, unusual movies are commonly only screened at festivals, so it makes me very happy that this is one that slipped through the cracks and made it to the regular theaters. This is one of the most unique experiences I've had all year.

It revolves around Thelma, who grew up in a religious household and now is an adult living on her own. She's pretty shy and doesn't know how to talk to anyone at school. One day when she sits besides a girl (who will become very important to the story), she starts shaking and crows crash into the windows. She's having an epileptic seizure. But why?

Once she starts to have feelings for Anja (with Anja showing feelings back) as well as drinking and smoking (which her parents openly have discouraged), her powers start to spiral out of control even more, having horrifying nightmares and weird visions.

This is a very nice and slowly paced (in a good way) movie, but "nice" does not always equal comfortable. It will make you happy with emotions bubbling up in you, it will scare you one other moment and it will make you very sad. As the movie goes on it gets darker and darker, but instead of delving into full-on horror territory it makes you think a lot, and deals with Thelma getting increasingly emotionally conflicted. Why does she have these powers if they don't do any good for her? Is she punished by her sins or is she punished because she has lived out her life restrictfully? There's an interesting conversation at the beginning, where Thelma makes fun of creationists for believing the Earth is only 6000 years old, and her parents tell her she shouldn't make fun of what others believe and that she doesn't know much more herself about what created the world and what controls it. Thelma feels belittled, like she's been relieved of all sorts of independent expression. Despite this, she apologizes to her father afterwards since she's too afraid to break their rules, that she'll lose her love if she deviates too much from what she's been brought up to think.

The romance aspect is handled very nicely. It doesn't feel the slightest bit sappy, Elli Harboe and Kaya Wilkins play their characters gracefully, and their scenes together are never bloated by Hollywood esque music, which would remove some of the subtlety.

Joachim Trier also makes this movie look GORGEOUS visually, you often feel like you're inside of some strange lucid tangible dream world, and whenever scary things occur it's absolutely beautiful to look at.

It's not suitable as simple escapist entertainment, but if you want something which will make you think about the characters afterwards, not just how well-acted they were, but them as people, then I promise you won't regret it.

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