[Movie Review] Thelma (2017) #KataKinema
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Thelma (Eili Harboe) has enrolled as a freshman in a university in Oslo, Norway. Both of her parents, Trond (Henrik Rafaelsen) and Unni (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), are some straightforward and religious kind of parents who like to monitor her by phone. One day, during a session in the college library, Thelma has a spasmodic seizure followed by birds suddenly crashing on the library’s window. Afterward, she frequently runs into her new friend, Anja (Kaya Wilkins), and slowly develops an affection towards her. Thelma has a hard time in dealing with her newfound feelings and seizures that keep on happening to her at the same time. Little did she know that the seizure is just a sheer symptom of mystifying psychokinetic ability, which subconsciously resides within herself.
Joachim Trier is back to his root, constructing a picture that is particularly addressing self-anxiety and depression issue, while also delving down into the depth of flawed human personalities. It tends to be ambiguous in terms of which genre direction this movie is going, but it sticks clear on what it wants to bring to the table: a chilling to the bone, slow-burn kind of story that bewitches your attention with alluring sequences which will remind you to some dreamlike styled imagery from Lars von Trier, Hitchcock, or Gaspar Noe. Trier is brilliant enough to balance out the supernatural aspect of the story with its subtle grimness, obtaining an almost perfect balance that is both strangely seductive and pleasurably frightening.
It still has some slightly run-of-the-mill thriller flick tropes but those were executed in a more symbolical manner thus creating a more bizarre context behind the tricks. The acting performance from Harboe and Wilkins as the main characters is quite up to the standard considering that they are still relatively fresh in the business. In spite of that, this film is leaning more on harnessing its cunningly written character-driven script, thought provoking sceneries, and scintillating use of camerawork.
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