Thelma (2017) Review

While some story elements are familiar, the overall package is truly unique and worth seeing

by Martin Hafer

Imagine a film that is part Carrie and part The Exorcist…combined with a lesbian love story.  I know that sounds a bit confusing…but this is a pretty accurate summary of the picture.

When the story begins, young Thelma (Eili Harboe) has gone off to college and things seem pretty normal.  However, out of the blue, she has what appears to be a grand mal seizure that lands her in the hospital.  Soon after, one of the folks who witnessed the seizure, Anja (Kaya Wilkens) introduces herself to Thelma and they soon become friends.  In fact, over times they become more than friends as both the women begin having sexual feelings for each other…which causes Thelma to have a huge internal struggle because this violates her strong Christian upbringing.

A bit later, Thelma enters the hospital for testing to determine exactly whether or not she has epilepsy.  During the testing, her defenses are lowered and her intense feelings for Anya run wild…so wild that Thelma’s supernatural powers manifest themselves.  What exactly are these powers?  And, what family secrets are there related to all this?  And, how does this all end?

As I said, the story reminds me of a couple other films but it’s also original in many ways.  It also keeps you guessing…and that’s the biggest reason I recommend the picture.  Where all this is going and how it gets there make this a very special film, though I have a couple important warnings.

First, there are lots and lots of flashing lights and epileptic viewers might have difficulties with this.  Second, if you have a strong fear of snakes do not watch this film!  There are several snakes in the film but one incredibly vivid dream that is nightmare fodder involving snakes and you need to consider this before you see this excellent movie.

Martin's Grade: A


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