What would you do if you could make the thing you wanted to happen come true? While it sounds appealing, if you weren’t aware you were able to do that, think of all the dreams, and desires you have and things you wish for that seem so innocent in thought. “Thelma” plays with this subject in a way that will leave you with the answers you may or may not want, or believe.
Thelma (Eli Harboe) has had a sheltered life. Now that she is entering adulthood her parents have allowed her to move to the city to attend school, believing they are past their fears. They stem from an incident when Thelma was younger and after years of nothing, they feel like she has moved past it. While at school though Thelma starts living life, where she experiences alcohol and falling in love. It is when that feeling is discovered that Thelma starts to experience what she believes is an epileptic seizure and has tests done. It is during those tests that she starts to discover things her parents have hidden from her and when she hits a breaking point moves back home to be safe. It is that return home that Thelma discovers the truth in which will let her be the person she was meant to be.
Writer/director Joachim Trier knew what he wanted to do and brings callbacks often throughout the film. From the opening shot to the final one, all throughout you are rewarded for paying attention. Harboe, who is just starting out in what will be a long career is stunning and breathtaking as Thelma. She is not the only thing beautiful about this film as the cinematography of Jakob Ihre makes sure the world around Thelma shares that beauty. “Thelma” is not one of those ‘just sit and watch and forget’ kind of films, instead it will make you deeply think about what you are taking in. While there are moments that are slow, the films final half hour is near impossible to look away from. “Thelma” is the reason why I love this time of year and if you love good cinema, then don’t miss this one.