Thelma is a 2017 Norwegian suspense mystery that features an awkward, introverted girl who discovers an intense same-sex attraction in college. Although she seems to have a warm relationship with her parents it quickly becomes apparent they don’t approve of any lifestyle that goes against their Christian faith.
I had no idea what to expect with Thelma, as I stumbled across it on a streaming platform and gave it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by the atypical content, as well as the ultimate culmination of the story.
Thelma’s cinematography and scoring are beautiful and create a rich atmosphere that does just as much storytelling as the acting and dialogue. Certain scenes are truly inspiring and could be visual art on their own.
Where Thelma struggles is its pacing. It draaaaaaags terribly for much of the film. Almost every scene can be cut down and convey the same message. This may have been a short film concept that was stretched to feature length. The production value only just makes up for the slow pace and perpetual pregnant pauses.
Thelma is a gorgeous and haunting character study on the edge of science fiction. This film is a cerebral look at a meek woman finding her power and her place in the world. But as we know, with great power comes great responsibility. So the titular Thelma needs to learn to harness her abilities and balance freedom and fear.
With a 92% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7/10 on IMDB, I give Thelma a 6.5/10. If it were better paced it would be a solid 7.5/10.