We’ve already had a film called ‘Daphne’ a short while ago but now we have another girls name titled film this time called ‘Thelma’ and fans of Coronation Street with a long memory will be disappointed to know that it’s not the life story of corner shop assistant Thelma Barlow. Neither is it a solo spin off film from Ridley Scott’s ‘Thelma & Louise’. Instead what we have is the latest film from Danish director Joachim Trier a relation of notorious Lars Von Trier and thankfully Joachim avoids the almost wilful controversy baiting of Lars.
The film starts off in unsettling style as a father takes his young daughter deep into the woods hunting with him and just as they see a deer he aims his rifle at the animal only to turn the rifle towards the girl. It’s one of several sequences which are disquieting and is part of a flash back structure within the film as we find out more about Thelma (Eili Harboe) a devout Christian at a University far away from her suffocating parents who make regular visits to check up on her welfare, as she’s a bit of a loner.
Thelma, unlike most students who when they aren’t busy turning themselves into real life caricatures of Viz comic’s Student Grant , studies hard and it’s in the university library where she has the first of what appears to be a violent epileptic fit and it’s a credit to Harboe that she carries this off with such alarming realism. From here on the film takes in a burgeoning love story between her and another female student which conflicts with her own moral beliefs and is further complicated by her increasingly frequent fits which seem to conjure up other atmospheric and physical disturbances in the surroundings.
Joachim has conjured up some powerful imagery in the film with plenty of God’s eye shots and much like his previous film ‘Louder than Bombs’ the story unfolds in a methodical way. That said he does revert to some cliches (birds flying inexplicably into windows) but overall this is a decent film that has a disconcerting ending.
Here’s the trailer…….