The Spine of “Thelma & Louise” by, Miguel Bigueur


Thelma, A bored housewife married to an unappreciative and controlling husband who is very unhappy at home. Louise, a career restaurant waitress who is sees the same people everyday and lives an unrewarding life. Both of them plan a short road trip to get away from their dull lives and seek out some excitement while letting their hair down. Immediately we see them having fun starting to live it up at the bar drinking and dancing.

PLANT: Thelma packs a gun!

Inciting incident: Thelma’s rapist gets shot in the parking lot at the bar.

PLOT POINT 1: The story takes it’s first spin after Louise shoots the rapist and sees no hope for ever returning to the life she once knew. Thelma is Louise’s accomplice and also sees no hope in returning to her life as she knew it. Louise make a call to Jimmy to wire her $6,700 via Western Union. Music in the background hints to the plot point, “Crossroads”. Louise decides to escape to Mexico and Thelma too. Louise shows us signs of a new boldness and independence when passing a man by saying, “What are you looking at?” Thelma also by telling Darryl, “Your my husband, not my father.”, followed by, “Go F yourself!” The Flyby with the crop duster was a nice touch. This symbolized Thelma & Louise flying free like birds in the air. FBI is brought in to investigate in this multi jurisdictional endeavor.

MID POINT:  Louise and Jimmy’s characters undergo emotional conflict by saying their goodbyes to each other after Jimmy’s proposal. Louise can’t see a future with him under the current circumstances that Jimmy is unaware of at this time, but will soon be. Recently raped and beaten Thelma invites the hitchhiker into her room one rainy night and sleeps with him, ODD! The next morning Thelma & Louise awaken to being robed of all their money from Thelma’s room by the hitchhiker. The FBI sets up a sting with a wiretap at Thelma’s house while Darryl is present. Thelma holds up the gas station stealing money trying to make up for losing the money the night before. The FBI reviews the tapes as Darryl watches in shock.

PLOT POINT 2: The story takes another turn as Louise talks to the FBI agent, she learns they discovered that they are heading to mexico. The FBI got information from the hitchhiker because Thelma hinted to their destination while she slept with him the night they got robbed. As they drive into the night, they know that the FBI will be waiting for them at the border. They pass the sexist womanizing trucker yet again on the highway. This guy just keeps popping up! With no destination and no plans they drive off onto the desert.Thelma learns that Louise was raped in Texas, which is why she does not want to pass through that state. A hint at the reason why Louise shot Thelma’s rapist. They come across a state trooper that pulls them over for speeding. Thelma pulls out her gun, they lock him in the trunk without a radio leaving two bullet holes in the trunk for air.

CLIMAX: GRAND CANYON, DEAD AHEAD! The FBI Discovers their location in the desert and is hot on their tail. Louise says, “They’re charging us with Murder!” Thelma says, “Did they say anything positive?” The situation seems hopeless for the two of them with no escape. Guess what? Yep, the trucker yet one more time! But this time, they teach him a lesson about how to treat a woman! Gosh, we discover that the trucker is also married, like the rapist earlier in the story. Hum! Message here I assuming! One tire, tow tires shot out. The man unwilling to apologize soon witnesses his truck explode into many pieces!

END POINT: I found it interesting how men are portrayed as womanizers throughout the film. For instance, the trucker with nude woman mud flaps on the highway sticks his tongue out at them as they pass him. I also found it interesting that Thelma felt compassionate enough to pick up a male hitchhiker that she didn’t know so soon after being raped. I loved when the biker blows smoke into the trunk of the state troopers vehicle! Classic! Ultimately, the film ends on a somber note with the historical chase scene that ends in suicide when Louise drives the Ford Thunderbird over the cliff escaping from the law.

It’s interesting to witness Darryl’s character arc throughout this movie. At the end, he shows great care and concern for his wife Thelma. Earlier he was an abusive and uncaring husband. The old saying goes, “You don’t know what you had until you lost it!”

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