Posted by: steveonfilm | December 15, 2007

About Structure – Exercise Two: Part Two

Thelma & Louise
Runtime: 2 hours 9 minutes

Director: Ridley Scott
Awards: 1 Oscar, 6 total nominations

Louise – Susan Sarandon
Thelma – Geena Davis
Hal – Harvey Keitel
Jimmy – Michael Madsen
Darryl – Christopher McDonald
Max – Stephen Toblowsky
J.D. – Brad Pitt
Harlan – Timothy Carhart

Notes: Then struggling actor George Clooney auditioned five times for Ridley Scott for the part of J.D. that went to Brad Pitt. Average Shot Length = ~6.3 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~6.1 seconds. Geena Davis was a hot piece in this flick. I went in expecting a chick flick, I came out watching a modern day Bonnie and Clyde.

Beginning: We meet Thelma and Louise, and are introduced to their respective lives. We see Darryl treat Thelma like crap. We don’t see meet Jimmy, but are lead to believe he treats Louise much the same way. The two head off on a mini vacation to a cabin. They stop for some drinks at a random “country club.” Thelma meets Harlan, who attempts to rape her in the parking lot. Louise saves the day, but shoots Harlan in the chest, thus making the pair fugitives.

Middle: We watch the pair as they take off and try to formulate what to do. They’re scared, with Louise taking the dominant role. Louise convinces Jimmy to wire her 6700 bucks and the pair decides to head to Mexico. They meet up with J.D. and get to Oklahoma City. Jimmy is waiting for Louise at the drop of for the money, surprising her. Thelma and J.D. sleep together, and we get to see how much Jimmy cares for Louise, and he’s actually very sweet to her, and had been planning to propose to her. Thelma realizes that that life is not something she’s going to be able to have now and they say their goodbyes. Meanwhile, Thelma is completely invigorated and finally lets go of her former self. However, J.D. stole their money. Broke, the pair sets up, Louise losing her confidence, and Thelma takes over as the dominant force. With her new attitude, she robs a store for money the exact same way that J.D. described to her when he did the same. The two continue on toward Mexico, stopping to call Darryl. Louise talks to long to Hal and the FBI is able to trace the phone call.

End: With their whereabouts know, the girls head off as fast as they can toward Mexico. The feds eventually track down the girls and a chase erupts. Cornered at the Grand Canyon, the pair drive off the edge rather than face being captured.

Original unedited notes I took during viewing:

Movie opens with a great black and white pan of the sprawling desert mountainside showing a road that seemingly wanders off into who knows where. It’s so pretty it almost looks fake. Ooh, Hans Zimmer did the music, neato. Country music plays in the background as a generic looking diner. We meet Louise serving some plates. Thelma seems like a real kick. We meet Thelma in cleaning up breakfast at her house. Looks very white trash. Louise is checking to see if Thelma is ready for the big trip. Evidently, Thelma fears her husband Daryl, as she hasn’t asked if she can go on the trip. HA! Shooter McGavin is her husband! Thelma and Daryl don’t seem like they like each other much. HA! He drives a red Vette, nothing screams mid life crisis like a Vette. Thelma never told Daryl she was going. Louise has a sweet old school t-bird. Thelma looks nervous as she gets ready. Louise packs everything in plastic bags, neat and tidy. Thelma just tosses stuff in her bag. Thelma also takes a small revolver. A quick picture before they leave. Thelma is very concerned about psycho killers. Its interesting that Louise seems “refined” in a forced sort of way, while Thelma sort of just embraces her white trashiness. They pull off in the early evening at The Silver Bullet bar. Time for drinks? Thelma orders a hard drink, Louise just wants food. Thelma is all about cutting lose on this trip. Louise is convinced to let loose too, she gets some drinks. Some schmooze starts hitting on them….Harlan, what a douche bag name. Thelma seems like she’d be interested in flirting, Louise thinks the guy is a putz. House band starts playing…they’re not very good, but Thelma seems to love ’em. Louise doesn’t seem to think very highly of her boyfriend Jimmy. Time to dance. Thelma pairs off with Harlan. Louise is left looking. She pairs up with some dude in a hat. Harlan drinks MGD….blech. Line dancing? HA! Louise leaves her fella on the floor. Thelma dances some more. Louise wants to go. Thelma is tanked and still dancing with Harlan. She doesn’t feel so good. Harlan takes her outside. Louise is in the women’s room, packed with red necks. Harlan starts pushing himself on Thelma, grabbing at her panties, he won’t let her go then hits her. She hits him then he beats the shit out of her. He’s about to rape her when Louise saves the day with the badass line, “You let her go you fucking asshole, or I’m going to splatter your ugly face all over this nice car.” Louise has the gun pointed at his head. Harlan talks shit and Louise shoots him. Louise keeps herself together but looks like she doesn’t really yet grasp what she just did.

They’re just driving, not sure where to go. Thelma wants to go to the cops. Louise knows that’s not going to do any good. They pull over and Louise vomits. She takes over driving. Thelma is really shaken up, nose bleeding. She’s beside herself, combing her hair, shaking, crying. Wow! Gas was only 1.19 a gallon. They get some coffee and Louise says they need to not panic, no one saw anything, they just need to “figure out what they’re gonna do.” Thelma and Louise are stressed, they want to blame each other for what’s happened, but manage to keep things cool. We meet Hal at the murder scene. He’s shaking down the waitress who was serving Thelma and Louise. Waitress tells Hal neither of them are the murdering type. Back on the road the next morning. Louise is taking control, defiantly the dominant force. They have 41 bucks to themselves. They get a hotel room to clean themselves up. They fight a bit about what to do next. Louise finally gets in touch with Jimmy. Louise wants Jimmy to wire her 6700 bucks, which is what she has in her bank. She tries telling him they she’s in deep shit, but can’t say what the real problem is, just that she did it and can’t undo it. She asks Jimmy if he loves her. He laughs and says “yeah.” She tells him to wire the money to Western Union in Oklahoma city. Hal continues to track down Thelma and Louise, fearing that the girls left the state he decides to contact the FBI. Louise fills in Thelma on what’s the plan is to get to Oklahoma City, and what to say to Daryl. Louise says she’s going to Mexico, and wants to know if Thelma is in or not. Thelma doesn’t know. Louise is determined. Louise calls Jimmy, who fills her in on where to go to get the money. Peaches is the code word. Seems like her and Jimmy have a love hate sort of thing. Louise is supposed to call Daryl and tell her she’s having a wonderful time and will be home tomorrow. Thelma and Daryl talk. Daryl says that if she’s not back by tonight then he…”doesn’t want to say it.” She says for him to “Go fuck himself.” She leaves the phone booth and bumps into Brad Pitt. What a lucky gal. This is how we meet J.D., who is evidently hitch hiking and trying to get back to school. He tries to schmooze a ride. Louise says it’s not a good idea. Thelma lets Louise know she’s down for going to mexico. Back with Hal we seem he looking up tags. Thelma is still going on about not giving J.D. a ride. Louise does not want to go through Texas. She hates Texas…something must have happened there. Thelma is upset that have to take the long route around Texas, but she won’t say why she won’t go there. Hal is at Louise’s house. He breaks in. No dust anywhere. Place is very clean. Orderly. Tidy. Back with the girls on secondary roads. Crop dusters. Literally. Grooving to some oldies. Hal is as the diner Louise works at. Back with the girls lo and behold they come up on J.D. on the side of the road. They give him a ride. Hal with Daryl, lets him know that he thinks they killed the guy and are on the run. Back with the girls we get some back story on Thelma and Daryl. Only man she’s ever been with. J.D. seems like a good kid. They see a cop and Louise pulls off the road and drives around them. They pull up to the pick up point for the money. Jimmy is there waiting for her. J.D. leaves, Thelma likes his butt. Jimmy got them each a room. Amazingly, Jimmy did actually get Louise the money. Louise leaves Thelma with the money. Jimmy is angry, throws a table. He cools…he didn’t threaten her really, was just angry he thought she was leaving him. He hands her a ring. He was going to propose before all this happened. He seems like he really does care for her. A knock at Thelma’s door. It’s J.D. Louise tries to break things off with Jimmy. He seems sad. Meanwhile J.D. and Thelma are playing strip slap fist. Turns out J.D. is a criminal, not a student, he’s a robber, small time, stores, gas stations, and whatnot. J.D. puts the moves on and then it’s game time for him and Thelma. Meanwhile, Jimmy looks really sad that Louise wants to split. They have a talk about the first time they met. They have a sweet moment and then it’s go time for them too. Evidently, everyone is getting laid tonight. [Mid point of movie maybe?] The next morning Jimmy and Louise have breakfast. Jimmy really is a sweet guy, he’s going to miss Louise a lot. She says she’ll catch up with him later. He heads out with his Taxi, and he leaves her with the ring. She looks like she’s going to miss him too. Enter Thelma, who is glowing. Thelma fills Louise in that she finally understands what the fuss about sex is all about, she “finally got laid properly.” They go back to the room and J.D. is gone, along with the money. Louise breaks down. What are they going to do about money? Back with Hal and “the feds” or some such group of men. They’re at Thelma’s, search warrant time. They fill in Daryl about that they’re going to be doing there, trying to find out where they are. They stop at a market on the side of the road. Louise just looks devastated. Thelma now taking the dominant role.Thelma goes in. Thelma comes running out screaming RUN, RUN! She robbed the store. Probably did it the way that J.D. told her he did. HA! Cut to the surveillance footage, and sure enough, she does it THE EXACT same way J.D. said he used to do it. WTF? A Michael McDonald song? Some great shots of the desert countryside. They pass a gross truck driver. Jimmy gets home. Comes face to face with the Arkansas State Police. The cops have J.D. in custody. Grilling him about the money he had. Hal’s tired of J.D. I haven’t mentioned Hal’s side kick, Max, who is really funny in the role he plays. It’s subtle, but it’s good. Hal wants to know if J.D. thinks Thelma would have robbed a store had he not taken her money. Hals really pissed that J.D. has made things worse for the girls. They pull over in BFE to fill up and call Daryl. Daryl answers and Thelma hangs up. They call again. Louise wants to talk to the police. Hal takes the phone. Hal says that he doesn’t think they’re going to make it to Mexico. Louise wants to know how they’re going to mexico. She figures out that Thelma must have said something to J.D., and that the cops must have him and he ratted. Louise says they need to start acting like fugitives. HA! All the cops are sitting at Hal’s watching a movie. Some sweet shots of them driving through canyons at night. They pass the same gross trucker again. Thelma is laughing about the look on Harlan’s face when they shot him, about how he sure wasn’t expecting to get shot. She realizes that Louise was raped when she lived in Texas. Louise says she’s not going to talk about it. They get pulled over. The girls are freaking. They were clocked going 110 mph. They go get into the cop car. Thelma comes over, puts the gun to his head and apologizes for what she’s doing. She shoots the radio. They put him in the trunk. The cop starts crying. They are truly outlaws now, settling into their roles. Thelma feels like “she’s got a knack for this shit.” Hal and the cops looks like they’re frustrated. Louise calls Thelma’s house and talks to Hal. Hal says he knows what happend to her in Texas, Thelma hangs up the phone, but it’s too late. They traced the call.

Ahhhh….Max is a fed, didn’t pick up on that earlier. Hal is worried…he says he needs to go when they bust the girls, otherwise things will get out of control and someone might get shot. He legitimately appears worried for them. Thelma says she can’t go back, but it’s not too late for Louise. The girls drive off again. Back on the highway some more sweet locations shots. Thelma says she feels really awake/alive. They find the same trucker again. They pass him. They get him to pull over and follow them off the road a bit. The trucker grabs some condoms, takes off his wedding ring, and walks over to where the girls parked. The start talking tough to the guy. Calling him out on the gross stuff he was doing. Louise takes out the gun, threatens to shot him unless he apologizes. She shoots a tire. Another tire. And other one. He still won’t apologize, they shoot the tanker and it blows up. Meanwhile, a rastafarian guy on a mountain bike (what the hell?) finds the cop the girls put in the trunk. He just blows pot smoke in the air holes in the trunk. We see Daryl who looks like he’s about to have a break down. Back with the Feds, and they brought Hal. Good deal. Ruh roh, cop cars all over the place. The chase is on. Big chase through all these rickety houses and desert landscapes. Wow, they manage to get away. Not sure how that happened, but it did, and the girls look surprised. They’re pretty shaken up, reality setting in a bit, they’re nervous giggling. A chopper is on their tail. Louise hits the breaks, they almost fall over the edge of the grand canyon. They had no idea they were even there. The chopper comes up right in front of them. Great shot! They back up. Coppers, all over the place. The gig is up. Everyone’s got their guns ready. Hal doesn’t like all the guns. Max says this is standard. Hal wants to know how many times Max is going to let these girls get fucked over. Thelma tells Louise to drive, just keep going…right over the edge. They drive off, Hal runs after them. They hold hands. Off they go. Losing a hub cap on the way down. Some flash backs from the trip as the credits roll.



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