Sometimes life is just too much to handle. The stress, the confinement, the work, the agony; it is enough to practically send someone over the edge. Usually it doesn’t, but in that rare instance, human beings have a tendency to snap, to go insane and once it happens, there is no turning back.
“Thelma & Louise” accurately depicts this abandonment of sense as two women drive across three states running from the law and the stress of life.
Strong-willed Louise (Susan Sarandon) leaves on a weekend fishing trip to antagonize her non-committal boyfriend and forget her low-paying waitressing job. She drags along the ditzy Thelma (Geena Davis), a fun-loving Southerner in need of escape from her controlling husband Darryl (Christopher McDonald, “The Perfect Storm”). Unfortunately, the trip goes sour when a man attempts to rape Thelma outside a bar, triggering Louise to shoot him to death in a fit of rage. The drama that ensues is a thrill ride of adventure as Thelma and Louise head for Mexico with the police and FBI on their trail.
Along the way the pair befriend a young Brad Pitt, a con-artist who convinces them to give him a ride. In Pitt’s breakthrough performance he proves why he has since come so far in Hollywood. Sarandon and Davis also offer well-developed characters, adding depth to this far-fetched feature.
This story is empowering as Thelma and Louise take charge of their lives without regret. However, a string of stupid mistakes dooms the experience. Overall, the plot is full of laughs but contains an underlying sadness.
Hans Zimmer’s musical score is energetic, making for an unforgettable soundtrack to highlight this landmark film and give life to the romanticism of a road trip between best friends that changes them forever.
The Special Edition DVD is packed with extra features for fans. It provides audio commentary by either Director Ridley Scott (“Gladiator”) or Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis and Oscar-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri. The former provides more insight than the latter and is worth the watch. Listening to Davis and Sarandon’s intermittent comments and snickers overpowered by long segments of silence is easily skipped.
The alternate ending with commentary by the director is very interesting and not too much of a time commitment while the extensive deleted scenes are a little more exhausting. There are about 20 supplied; many are small fragments intermixed with existing scenes, a distinction that can be made with a “deleted footage marker.”
One shouldn’t forget to flip the DVD over because the other side contains special features continuing with a new behind-the-scenes documentary, and vintage theatrical featurette. It is also equipped with storyboard layouts, a photo gallery and a rather unnecessary music video featuring “Part of Me, Part of You” by Glenn Frey. No aspect of this memorable film or its making is left to question after perusing this impressive collection.