Thelma: Film Review

Joachim Trier brings us a Norwegian supernatural coming of age story along the lines of Carrie, or more recently Raw, and while Thelma is interesting and thrilling on occasion, it’s quite forgettable when compared to those two predecessors.

Thelma (Eili Harboe) moves away from her strict parents for the first time to study biology at a college in Oslo, Norway. While there, she meets Anja (Kaya Wilkins) and her attraction awakens supernatural powers she hadn’t displayed since she was a child.

Thelma presented some great ideas and there are some tense moments, some sense of foreboding, but I wouldn’t call it a horror. It’s not particularly scary or gruesome and only slightly thrilling. It’s more of a character study as it focuses on Thelma, her state of mind, her relationship with her parents, and the seizures she keeps having. Harboe is very captivating in the role, immensely watchable and sympathetic.

It is just a bit too long and slow moving to keep up any real sense of thrill, especially towards the end when it delves deep into her backstory and consequently loses momentum. It could have done with being a bit shorter and sharper, perhaps with less explanation. It is still an intriguing story with an impressive lead actress – I just expected more.

Originally seen as part of the BFI London Film Festival. In selected cinemas from Friday 3rd November 

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