“Thelma” is totally a chic-flick

The first kiss. Photo provided.

Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected “seizure.”

Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja - feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures.

The seizures are a symptom of inexplicable supernatural abilities. Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past and the terrifying implications of her powers.

Digging further, she uncovers disturbing secrets about her family, and reluctantly comes to a fateful realization – just as Anja goes mysteriously missing.

Thelma sees no option but to return to her rural home and face the difficult truth of her legacy, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

Eili Harboe (Thelma) launched her film career as a teenager with the 2012 drama The Orheim Company. She followed as the lead in the romantic teen comedy Kiss Me You Fucking Moron (2013), and has been in several films since that time.

Kaya Wilkins makes her screen debut with Thelma as Okay Kaya. At 15, she began modeling, she is a musician and now, an actor.

“To be frank, I’ve always done the film that I wanted to make there and then,” said director Joachim Trier. “It went on a strange route this time where we really wanted to try something new.

“Growing up watching movies there was always something you could express through more mental images.

“I always loved the existential implications of The Dead Zone, which I think is almost like a fairy tale where you’re able to show something that is very human and relatable, yet it’s in a supernatural framework.”

Trier also thinks these types of films get close to something very human that deals with anxiety and mortality and these existential questions, but through genre.

“It deals with the incapability of accepting your own destiny. For Thelma because she’s internalized the critique of that lifestyle through her parents, but I wanted to show it as a pure and beautiful thing as well.

“It’s complicated for her to accept who she really is,” added Trier.

And then before we know it we’re juggling two things, something that we’re quite familiar with – a coming-of-age story and, at the same time, this genre element.

Trier wanted to contrast urbanity and nature to a larger degree than he had done in the past.

Not only is Trier the director, the film is co-written by him and Eskil Vogt. Produced by Thomas Robsahm.

Running Time: 116 min. The film is spoken in Danish with English captioning.

Copyright The Gayly – November 28, 2017 @ 7:10 a.m. CST.