Director: Joachim Trier (louder than bombs, reprise)
Starring: Eili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, and Henrik Rafaelsen
REVIEWER: purdie jenkins
A college student starts to experience extreme seizures while studying at a university in Oslo, Norway. She soon learns that the violent episodes are a symptom of inexplicable, and often dangerous, supernatural abilities.
Thelma is a new student at a university in Oslo. She grew up in rural Norway with
conservative parents, but now she lives alone in the city. However it is not that simple,
Thelma has started experiencing regular seizures that seem to be linked to something
dangerous and psychological. Thelma is a simple coming-of-age tale of a girl learning to
push her boundaries. Learning to live without her overbearing parents, trying to make friends
in a new city, experimenting with alcohol and drugs, and coming to terms with her sexuality.
The entire atmosphere of the film is deeply chilling. The sound, lighting, scenery,
characterisation, everything comes together in a way that unsettles the audience. This
chilling atmosphere alongside with the mystery of the seizures puts you on to the edge of
your seat, trying to figure out what is happening as Thelma herself is putting it all together as
Eili Harboe plays the part of Thelma, her doe-eyed innocence to the curious nature of her
movements. There are moments where you feel too voyeuristic, long, looming birds eye shots
over crowds, intense close ups on characters. You feel like you have intruded on this girl’s life.
The slow pace builds the tension in such a way that the scary moments hit you like a cold shiver in the middle of the night. The more thrilling supernatural moments, are just there, there isn’t a need for thorough explanation, Thelma relies on the audience to piece together everything like the protagonist.
Chilling and dark, Thelma rewards those who let themselves get invested.