One of the great pleasures of childhood is reading or watching something that’s “too old for you.”
I saw Thelma and Louise in a movie theater when I was 10 years old.
The harsher parts of the story went over my head—I don’t think I had any concept of rape, and probably assumed the man assaulting Thelma was just beating her up.
I also wasn’t particularly bothered by them driving off a cliff at the end. (Spoiler alert!)
What my 10 year-old self took away from the movie was the image of two badass women who were living life on their own terms and not taking shit from anyone.
I thought it was awesome when Thelma told her husband to go “F” himself and Louise shot out the tires of a foul-mouthed trucker.
I wanted to be just like them.
There’s an accompanying adult pleasure in revisiting one of these works you saw as a child and discovering a deeper, more layered story inside that’s only just now accessible to you.
I didn’t see Thelma and Louise again until an I took an introductory film class in college, and when I did I found a much different film than the one I remembered.
In that class I learned that Thelma and Louise was about women escaping the confinement of their lives. It was a female road movie in which the main characters reevaluated their role in society.
Thelma and Louise were feminist icons. Their story was an indictment of the patriarchy.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I saw all that too the second time around.
But I still think it’s pretty awesome when Thelma tells Darryl to go “F” himself.
This is part of my Movies I’m Grateful For series, running daily through the month of November.