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Thelma and Louise : Micro Analysis.

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Introduction

In this essay I will be analysing the closing sequence of the film 'Thelma and Louise' written by Callie Khouri and directed by Ridley Scott. The focus of this essay on film language is mise-en-scene and sound/dialogue and how it is used to create meaning and generate response. In the beginning of this scene Thelma and Louise are driving and they suddenly come to a cliff edge. Louise slams on the breaks and manages to stop the car just before going off the edge. The dialogue between Thelma and Louise, 'What the hell is this?' 'I think it's the God damned Grand Canyon,' demonstrates their disbelief at how close they came to falling to their death. Thelma's question also illustrates how little she was allowed out of the house when she was living with Darrell. The next dialogue as the camera pans round the canyon is of Thelma and Louise's amazement at its beauty. Thelma says, 'Isn't it beautiful?' Louise responds, 'Yeah, it's somethin' else alright.' The camera pans around the canyon as if it was in the car and it is as if we are seeing through Thelma and Louise's eyes. The audience see how beautiful the canyon is. There is a slight pause in dialogue and movement, except the camera on a static shot of Thelma's face starring out in awe at the canyon. ...read more.

Middle

Let's not get caught." Louise: "Wha' do y'u mean?" Thelma: "Lets keep goin' (pause and there is a CU camera shot of Louise's shocked face) Go." Louise: "You sure?" Thelma: "Yeah. Hit it." This is the last thing we hear Thelma and Louise say in the film and it has strong significance. You as the audience know that they will not live and we feel sad because we have been wanting them to escape all the way through the film but then we also feel a great sense of joy that they won't get caught they are going to commit suicide and end their life on a happy note instead of a hanging. After the dialogue Louise kisses Thelma and this demonstrates the bond between them which has been so strong, but still grown, throughout the film. The audience is deeply moved by this as we admire them for having such courage and love for each other as to kill themselves. We then view their death which is all silent except for Max yelling, 'Hey!' at Hal as he runs towards the car just before it speeds off over the cliff edge. Also the moving gospel like music which plays louder and with more harmony as Thelma and Louise get closer to the cliff edge. The music has had clips playing throughout the film and we recognise it instantly as an important part of the film. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are dead and free. * We see a shot of Thelma and Louise smiling at each other (Two separate shots of their faces which we assume are looking at one another) which illustrates they are happy with their decision and they love each other. Their hands are still clasped together. Reinforcing this image. * We see a CU of Louise flooring the cars accelerator pedal which represents the finality of it all. * Then we see the shot of the car leaving the cliff edge from a low angle shot. We are looking up at the car as it flies upwards then as it starts to come down the shot freezes and fades out to white. This is an alternative ending instead of watching the car free fall. It is better because it represents Thelma and Louise going to heaven and dying happily instead of seeing their horrible bloody death in the explosion as the car hits the bottom of the cliff. At this point the music is fully harmonised and very loud. The music throughout this scene has been used to build tension and convey strong emotion of the characters in the audience towards the end of the film. In conclusion I think that this essay has demonstrated adequately how mise-en-scene and sound is used to generate response and create meaning in the film Thelma and Louise. And I believe that the closing scene is one of the most provocative and emotional of the entire film. Word Count: 1450 Leah Kibble Film Studies AS ...read more.

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