Movie producers have the responsibility of enlightening the society about pertinent issues that affect the people. In this regard, themes and overall plot should aim at creating real pictures to audiences in real time. The issues of gender in the recent past has caused many feminists sleepless nights. The society now respects roles and abilities of women just as men (gender equity). In the film industry, men dominated science fiction genre but in the 1970s, there was complete transformation as females came to the lime light. The movie Thelma and Louise is a demonstration of how gender roles have changed. This essay analyzes thematic issues in Thelma and Louise and the significance of the themes in the community today.
Thelma and Louise Film Critique
Ridley Scott's film Thelma and Louise is a cast by extraordinary female actors Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. In this film, gunshots from Thelma and Louise end the happy moments of the truck driver. This happens as the truck owner stares helplessly. Athema (2001) describes the scene, "Incredulous, its owner stares at the spectacle and lets off a pitifully helpless and, in its helplessness, hilariously comical tirade against the two female outlaws." At this incident, Thelma turns from being a submissive and insecure homemaker to a more determined and self-reliant character along the highway. Thelma narrates to Louise how something incredible has happened to her before they encountered the truck driver.
Police suddenly stop Louise at a time she recollects her lost mind and now the real scenario dawns on her. In this case, by the administration wants Louise for questioning in relation to the murder of rapist who she allegedly shot. Alongside this charge, she faces another charge: armed robbery allegation in another state. The questioning by the police was going to fuel the murder charges that were the genesis of their run. It was not going to be a smooth ride for these two women especially in this weekend trip. The two characters stop arguments about what is bound to happen next in their life and this leads them to never-ending terrains of the Grand Canyon.
The film Thelma and Louise is about the story of two women closely tied in a friendship. It is about the life of two independent women and male sexists. The film presents most of the male these two women encounter as either funny, loose or tough people characters that are hard to get. Some of these male characters include Harvey Keitel and Michael Madsen. The cast depicts the opposite of stereotyping in the society. Thelma had learnt how to apply her fighting skills before the encounter with Harlan. In addition, had Louise not have been raped by Harlan, she would not have shot him. In a woman's point of view, the whole predicament of the Harlan resulted from the need for self-defense; thus, an understandable and a justifiable homicide.
One of the themes in this movie is the focus in changing gender roles in science fiction films. As a result, artists in this genre have been able to explore social conventions with clear definition of gender, the role of gender, and tenets about gender. Science fiction genre just like any other form of literature has always reflected the popular perception in ground following responses to stereotyping and the role of gender. A number of science fiction writers and directors have traditionally ignored questioning the role of gender, but reflect their own opinion about gender roles their movies. Besides the earlier beliefs in human gender, the role of science fiction now finds way in hypothetical aliens and the robotics to incorporate trans-real genders; also referred to as the third gender or hermaphrodites.
Through science fiction films, moviemakers have tackled a number of issues in the society: biological sciences, sexual preferences, and a range of alternative models the society would accept regarding the role of gender. Masculinity; for instance, has always been associated with male characters. According to Inness (2004), "this feature though is reversed in the November 2000 issue of playboy that showcases a masculine woman unlike the typical girl that would appear in the feminine literature." The writer also argues that the mainstream film industry is now portraying a powerful woman and cites the role played by women in Crouching Tiger, Charlie's Angels, and Tomb Rider, among others. In addition, Coles (2010) notes that, "1970 saw the breakthrough of female ability in the film industry given the role played by Sigourney Weaver when she starred in the movie Alien." The author admits that since then women have thrived in the industry of science fiction films.
These alternative models create extrapolation of current ideas into a possible human behavior via studying the marriage ideals, chromosomes, and technological advancement. In this regard, science fiction and speculative fiction in general have presented current ideas on sex and gender in either controversial or fashionable models, whose projection could then entice future set-up in a fantasy world. Science fiction genre traditionally has been puritanically male dominated and male oriented. Stereotypes on science fiction; for instance aliens, can be metaphorically used to reflect gender. This statement is justified by the works of Ridley Scott's film Thelma and Louise that changed the perception of many due to the changed role of women in science fiction films.
The ideals of fantasy themes in science fiction movies have been widely accepted by the females. According to George, (2009), "With science fiction film's ability to make metaphoric or the imagined cinematically real, its female characters in the past and present often become models of the proper role for women in a particular period." As a result, female actors have additional roles in science fiction other than their traditional fiction in romantic movies. The ability of science fiction films to explore the future and give a range of different community set-ups gives this genre the strength to define gender roles and preconceptions. Artistes have attempted to challenge the societal gender dispensation; from the historically male dominated industry to the resent female superiority. On the other end, the role of male in the science fiction film industry has been diminishing from the earlier days to the present times. The themes portrayed in the genre has always put men at the top of the game and now the political, economic and social ill have been blamed on male inability to move things in the right direction. Today gender issue is so sensitive and it is in this mood that has seen emergence of female protagonists in science fiction.
The role shift of women in science fiction genre has seen them take the mainstream creation of story line and dismal on-screen acts. According to Hollinger (2006), "the contemporary film industry has changed as the film actress is portrayed both as an artist and ideological masterpiece." The author analyses the role of women in two bits: studying film action and stardom by exemplifying their career and the creation of new style in the industry. Among the alpha-female artists, the author brings into focus is Susan Sarandon. The role women played in the earlier years depicted a sense of helplessness in dire need for a male savior.
Ridley Scott's film Thelma and Louise is an outstanding movie that justifies strides made by females in fighting a male dominated world. The themes covered by the producer caused real revolution of the roles of women in science fiction films in the earlier years and a renewed self belief that today's female actors demonstrate. This art is a masterpiece for feminists who fight to ensure gender balance and equal opportunities for all.