The Sanity In Violence In Thelma And Louise

3098 words - 12 pages

What could be a better summer box office hit than a film about women hitting the road, rebelling against society and undergoing a complete metamorphosis in the process? On the surface, Thelma and Louise comes across as a typical chick flick; yet, its a movie that takes on many lifeforms and interpretations. The most fascinating criticism of the movie is whether or not Thelma and Louise go insane. Thelma and Louise's actions govern the central ideas of the movie: Freedom, women vs men, and an internal metamorphosis precipitated by the open road. These overarching themes offer justification for the women's behavior, thoughts and beliefs and answers the three main questions that offer insight into whether the women go mad: Are the two violent because of their experiences, or are they simply on a “man-hating” journey? Do Thelma and Louise have boundaries? Why did the two drive off the cliff? As the answers to these questions are divulged as the movie progresses, Thelma and Louise become symbols of strong, driven, sane women who discover themselves by removing domineering men from their lives and women who create their own destines.
Many are too quick to write off Thelma and Louise as a typical “chick-flick,” or “man-hating” movie. “Complete opposites who will by the end of the film have switched gender, grown closer, and develop to be opposites again. But always flying through life with the same end or common means to end the oppressive male tendencies of their lives,” (Kirkomatic). The men in the movie present themselves as suave, charming or abusive, domineering men. Yes, the director chose typical macho men to play the male characters. Yet, I believe Thelma and Louise treated them as “scum of the earth” because of there experiences with men and lack of protection on the open road. The movie is more of a feminist movie, for it is about female resurgence, healing and freedom. In addition, I do not believe the movie is a man-hating one because it is about Thelma and Louise; the men play minor supporting roles that enhances the women's transformations. They provide the challenges Thelma and Louise need in order to ultimately reign triumphant.
I think this film takes on a feminist perspective as the women gain authority. Although they use guns and violence, nevertheless Thelma and Louise take charge and enter what normally on the screen is viewed as male traits. They become confident, assertive, and fearless. This sharply contrasts the other road films where men are telling the story and women are visual stimuli, or sexual objects to the men merely meet along the way. Feminism, in my opinion, describes the utopian view of the equality between men and women in terms of what both genders are able/expected to do, in terms of personal characteristics, actions, and lifestyles. “Feminism allows women to step outside their culturally created gender roles and take on a lifestyle that is not traditionally "female", and thus allows for the...

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