Thelma and Louise: A Feminist Film Critique
After viewing the well known film Thelma and Louise, I found that it was much more than a female version of the classic road film. The film really takes on a feminist perspective as these two women leave behind the contraints of their daily lives in order to find adventure and freedom. The road in this film along with their convertable represents their ticket to freedom. As long as they are driving on the road they are getting away from and escaping all that ties them down back home, namey the men in their lives. Both women are in unhappy relationships and depend on eachother for the only good and solid relationship that they have in life.
I think this film takes on a feminist perspective as the women gain authority throughout the film, unfortunately through the use of guns and violence, but nevertheless these women take charge and enter what normally on the screen is viewed only as male characteristics. They become confident, assertive, and fearless. This sharply contrats the other road films we have viewed in which men are telling the story and women are visual stimuli, or sexual objects the men merely meet along the way. I think the term feminism 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 perhaps take on a job or activity or lifestyle that is not traditionally "female", and thus allows for the freedom of choice, which is what I think feminism is at the core, the power of choice and individuality free from gender norms and cultural expectations.
Thelma and Louise certainly go against cultural norms as they become violent and assertive women as the film progresses. However, much like the film "Woman on a Motorcycle" thier freedom is put to a halt when at the end of the film they die (or we assume that they die). The film recognizes them as outlaws who must be punished, which is customary in American films, however it also indicates that they must be punished in someway for their deviant behaviior and expressed the idea that the "wild" woman" will not go unpunished, and in some ways counteracts the freedom and feminist ideals that the film was promoting all along. Had they survived, which perhaps they did, I think that it would have indicated that these women, though non-traditional escaped the binds of their daily lives and societal norms and remained truely free.