THELMA

She’s Lost Con­trol

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 12a | 109 min­utes Di­rec­tor Joachim Trier Cast eili Har­boe, Kaya Wilkins, Hen­rik rafaelsen, ellen dor­rit Petersen

At the start of this Nor­we­gian­lan­guage sci-fi-hor­ror, a fa­ther takes his daugh­ter out onto the ice to hunt. When the child ven­tures out to look at a deer, he aims the gun at the back of her head and al­most pulls the trig­ger. It’s omi­nous fore­shad­ow­ing for a film about na­ture, in­stinct, fam­ily and vi­o­lence that builds as a beau­ti­ful com­ing-of-age/com­ing-out movie, and grows chill­ier and more bru­tal by the minute.

Eili Har­boe plays the tit­u­lar girl in the body of the film, now older and en­rolled in univer­sity – against the wishes of her strictly re­li­gious par­ents, who con­stantly check up on her. It’s an awak­en­ing for Thelma, as she tries al­co­hol for the first time and be­gins to form a pow­er­ful re­la­tion­ship with fel­low stu­dent Anja (Kaya Wilkins). These new feel­ings ini­tially man­i­fest as fits – Thelma is prod­ded and poked, and di­ag­nosed with non-epilep­tic seizures – but even­tu­ally she re­alises they are pow­ers, ones she strug­gles to con­trol, trig­gered by mo­ments of guilt and de­sire. And with power comes re­spon­si­bil­ity, as all good sci-fi tells us.

Thelma ex­plores that theme with har­row­ing re­sults. Think a slow-burn art­house X-Men meets Car­rie, packed with in­deli­ble im­agery as ici­cle shard-sharp as that un­shake­able open­ing prom­ises. Penny Archer

Di­rec­tor Joachim Trier says he was “very much in­spired” by Ge­orge Romero’s 1973 film Sea­son Of The Witch (see p97).

The new sleep­mon­i­tor­ing app took things a bit too far.

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