Explore the view that 'Thelma and Louise' is a feminist film.

Essay by ShinobiCollege, UndergraduateB, December 2003

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Thelma and Louise are two friends who decide to take a weekend trip into the mountains. However all does not go according to plan when in a diner parking-lot Louise shoots a man who attempts to rape Thelma. From here Thelma and Louise go on the run - robbing a bank and blowing up a gas tanker on the way. 'Thelma and Louise' is essentially a road movie, which embodies the spirit of the crime, thriller and buddy movie as well. As the film progresses the pair become closer, revealing more to each other about their past. The film ends with Thelma and Louise committing suicide together as an act of defiance. I believe that 'Thelma and Louise' is a feminist film and within the confines of this essay I aim to explore and explain that view.

One of the elements that make the film feminist is the portrayal of males.

Within 'Thelma and Louise' there are only two male characters who are shown as being 'good', Jimmy and the central police officer on the hunt for Thelma and Louise. All of the others are shown in a negative light. For example, J.D (played by Brad Pitt) is a thief, Hal (Harvey Kietel) is only interested in women for sex.

This idea of sexual exploitation is a reoccurring theme within the film and a vehicle used to demonstrate the characters growth. For example when they are exploited at the beginning of the film they are obviously out of control of the situation, because Hal still has the ultimate power. However towards the end of the film Thelma and Louise assert themselves as in control when they blow up the petrol tanker.

As the film progresses, the protagonists become closer, sharing secrets about...