The performances are critically excellent on the level of the way in which the actor must use all of their tools, their body, their face, and their voice in order to express the character and the emotional context of each moment. The supporting cast creates an equally high level of excellence as they frame the journey of the two protagonists. With arguably two of the best performances of their career, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon provide examples of acting, along with a well formed supporting cast, that expresses individual points of view through fully developed characters and motivations. Thelma and Louise begin their journey as a weekend escape as an adventure from their middle class, average lives. The journey begins as they are excited about their trip, but soon turns towards violence as Thelma is assaulted and almost raped in a parking lot of a bar. As the male antagonizes Louise about his power over their situation, she pulls a gun and shoots him, even though the threat had primarily been alleviated. For Louise, this is a response to her own trauma in her past where she was apparently raped and left without justice in the state of Texas. This event is framed from Louise’s perspective. Thelma is in pure response to the event, her beliefs about what has happened squarely within the structures that society has put into place about the way in which women can respond to being threatened and terrorized. Louise has a perspective of experience which informs her that the situation is outside of cultural norms and that it is more likely that injustice will occur rather than justice. Sarandon expresses Louise’s perspective through anger, her demeanor aggressive, and her body taking on the emotions that she needs to express in that moment. Her face holds onto a memory that is shadowing her every action in this sequence and the audience is clear that what happened to her in the past is driving what she does in this moment. Her motivation, while not ever clearly discussed, is expressed in the look in her eyes and in the stance of her body. The audience empathizes with her experience. Because it is not clearly defined, every woman can identify her version of the experience to what Sarandon is feeling in that moment. The patriarchal discourse is constructed from the point of view of women who have had to navigate the dominating presence of men in order to survive. Thelma is married to a man who suppresses her desires for life in order to keep her chained to her home and under his supervision. He is portrayed as an oppressive male who is not sensitive to her needs, nor conscious that she has them. His marriage to her does not seem to include her, but be centered on a belief that she is his property to control and his slave to wait on him at his whims. As many women do when married to such a man, Thelma tends to do as she wishes behind his back accepting the consequences of such actions through a resigned belief that this is just how life is for her. To understand the perspectives of these two women, it is important to understand that both have suffered under the oppressive and aggressive domination of a male society that has left them little
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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date Thelma and Louise: The Actor’s Point of View Thelma and Louise is a 1991 film directed by Ridley Scott and written by first time screenwriter Callie Khouri. The film was a sleeper hit, making 45,361,000 in the USA with a budget of only 16,500,000 (IMDB)…
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