Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of
Category: Drama, Mystery, Romance
Release Date: 15 november, 2017
Director: Joachim Trier
Starring: Eili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Henrik Rafaelsen
Age Restriction: 18 years
Duration: 116 minutes
Thelma is a 2017 American romance film directed by Joachim Trier and written by Eskil Vogt
What: Thelma (Eili Harboe) leaves home to study Biology at the university, where she will experience an awakening of sensations that her parents had repressed for a long time. But she is not a conventional post-adolescent: the paranormal events that occur during her epileptic seizures will reveal an unusual power.
Who: The Norwegian Joachim Trier, who got the favor of criticism with his debut feature ‘Reprise’ (2006) and consolidated it with the magnificent ‘Oslo, August 31’ (2011). In 2015 he worked with Jesse Eisenberg and Isabelle Huppert in ‘Love is stronger than bombs’. With this new movie, he hits hard on the door of the Palmarés.
And what about: In the previous edition of the Sitges Festival, one of the winning films was ‘Crudo’, by debutante Julia Ducournau, a story about the sexual and emotional awakening of a young woman through the taste for meat (literally) . From the fantastic “monsters” of this film, we passed this year to a film with a similar plot, but that channels the emotional changes of the young protagonist through paranormal psychic powers. Leave home to go to college, suffer the first moments of loneliness, feel desires that had been repressed …
The Norwegian Joachim Trier picks up this narrative line and introduces the Christian religion as a barrier to personal self-realization – something that also connects with another winner of the contest: the German ‘Requiem (The Exorcism of Micaela)’, of 2006-, as an excuse for a parental overprotection that, in reality, hides explanations much closer to the paranormal than religious fanaticism.
‘Thelma’ is pure elegance. Her narrative style is slow, measured and effective, dosing the information to the viewer in an admirable way while the protagonist discovers what is behind those epileptic attacks that paralyze her. And what will it be? Love. The sex Those things for which the hair on the arms stands on end. The mystery about his situation -which goes beyond the coming-of-age to also enter into the study of the divine- permeates the staging itself, which offers bursts of magic and violence with echoes of Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’ .
In fact, in the last scene of this Russian film we see a girl testing her paranormal powers with glasses in a subtle as well as shocking way. In the same way, the protagonist of this film delves into her gifts with counted and sober displays of power. Thus, he discovers that the only way to be free, to let fly the small párajo that is imprisoned in his interior, is to embrace his impulses and use them in his favor. That’s what they are for.
Very hot day today in Sitges. But we, instead of going to the beach to freshen up, enjoy it in the best way we know: moving to the cinema Retiro to take our daily dose of cinephilia. We started by commenting on Thelma, a new film by the Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier (responsible for dramas like Stronger than bombs or Oslo, August 31), which this time, leaves his comfort zone to enter the field of fantasy.
His new film tells the story of a young woman who, when she enters the university and meets a young woman for whom she is attracted, begins to suffer a series of attacks that, in principle, she believes are the cause of a latent epilepsy. Little by little, she will discover that she has a strange power since childhood and that these attacks are merely attempts to repress her most primal instincts. Tape that advances with slow pace, but that works quite well. The fantastic tone serves Trier as an excuse to criticize the strong religious education of some families in the Nordic country and the control of some parents over the sexual orientation of their children. Despite his good intentions and his impeccable invoice, he may be a little gloating at times in the most rugged terrain (there is a scene with a baby on a frozen lake, quite free). Even so, risky and different bets within the genre are appreciated today.