A confused religious girl tries to deny her feelings for a female friend who's in love with her. This causes her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to reemerge with devastating results.
Having just enrolled at a university in Oslo against her stern parents' will, the sheltered Biology freshman and devout Christian, Thelma, leaves for the first time the isolated Norwegian countryside, to start a new life away from home. Tangibly lonely, a casual conversation and an unexpected friendship in the face of the beautiful fellow student, Anja, will broaden Thelma's hazy horizons; however, as the glacially alluring misfit wrestles with an onslaught of novel feelings, an unprecedented psychosomatic manifestation of repressed emotions takes over. A mystery cloaks soft-spoken Thelma's past, and the more she struggles to renounce her nebulous desire, the more violent is her quivering awakening. But can Thelma find a denied truth behind a stinging temptation?Written by
I feel like in the future, I might appreciate this movie even more. You really have to respect the ethics of it. Odder, unusual movies are commonly only screened at festivals, so it makes me very happy that this is one that slipped through the cracks and made it to the regular theaters. This is one of the most unique experiences I've had all year.
It revolves around Thelma, who grew up in a religious household and now is an adult living on her own. She's pretty shy and doesn't know how to talk to anyone at school. One day when she sits besides a girl (who will become very important to the story), she starts shaking and crows crash into the windows. She's having an epileptic seizure. But why?
Once she starts to have feelings for Anja (with Anja showing feelings back) as well as drinking and smoking (which her parents openly have discouraged), her powers start to spiral out of control even more, having horrifying nightmares and weird visions.
This is a very nice and slowly paced (in a good way) movie, but "nice" does not always equal comfortable. It will make you happy with emotions bubbling up in you, it will scare you one other moment and it will make you very sad. As the movie goes on it gets darker and darker, but instead of delving into full-on horror territory it makes you think a lot, and deals with Thelma getting increasingly emotionally conflicted. Why does she have these powers if they don't do any good for her? Is she punished by her sins or is she punished because she has lived out her life restrictfully? There's an interesting conversation at the beginning, where Thelma makes fun of creationists for believing the Earth is only 6000 years old, and her parents tell her she shouldn't make fun of what others believe and that she doesn't know much more herself about what created the world and what controls it. Thelma feels belittled, like she's been relieved of all sorts of independent expression. Despite this, she apologizes to her father afterwards since she's too afraid to break their rules, that she'll lose her love if she deviates too much from what she's been brought up to think.
The romance aspect is handled very nicely. It doesn't feel the slightest bit sappy, Elli Harboe and Kaya Wilkins play their characters gracefully, and their scenes together are never bloated by Hollywood esque music, which would remove some of the subtlety.
Joachim Trier also makes this movie look GORGEOUS visually, you often feel like you're inside of some strange lucid tangible dream world, and whenever scary things occur it's absolutely beautiful to look at.
It's not suitable as simple escapist entertainment, but if you want something which will make you think about the characters afterwards, not just how well-acted they were, but them as people, then I promise you won't regret it.
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