Twenty-Five Years On And Thelma & Louise Still Rock Our World

Why the cult of Thelma & Louise lives on in all of us

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It's been 25 years since Hollywood's favourite friends-turned-outlaws - Thelma and Louise - set off in their Ford Thunderbird, but if there's one quote that makes us want to grab our best friend and throw caution to the wind, road trip or no road trip, it's the movie's famous tagline:

'Thelma & Louise are going fishing…Thelma & Louise are going to catch hell.' 

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When it was released in 1991, the film, directed by Ridley Scott, was heralded as a screen breakthrough – two spirited female protagonists breaking free from male dominance.

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Thelma and Louise were not only driving the car but they were driving the entire film. And to great critical acclaim.

But as well as scooping an Oscar for Best Screenplay for writer Callie Khouri and five nominations, including a Best Actress for both Geena Davis (Thelma) and Susan Sarandon (Louise), the film sparked a much wider feminist debate.

While some celebrated the story of female revenge, others questioned whether the duo's violence was indeed empowering to women.

Some critics even accused it of 'male bashing' and reprehended the hours of gratuitous violence.

And that's not even mentioning the controversial Grand Canyon ending.

But it's this debate that has secured the film's legacy.

Half a century on and Thelma, with her childlike giddiness, and Louise, with her grit, remain two of the most well-written women characters on screen.

It's only sad that there haven't been more of them.  

Recently at Cannes Susan Sarandon expressed doubt as to whether Thelma & Louise would be made today – 'maybe as an animation' she said. 

Which is even more reason to celebrate 25 years of this cult story, and to continue channeling the duo's flair and spirit of adventure.

As for this summer, we'll be doing just that… drinking Margaritas by the sea Mamacita.

Image credits: Pathe Entertainment film studios.

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