Posted on: June 27, 2024 Posted by: Christina Bronner Comments: 0

Thelma: Perfect Combination Of Action, Jokes And Emotion That Gives A New Perspective On Technology And The World We Live In

 

The feature directorial debut of Josh Margolin, Thelma is a poignant action-comedy that gives veteran Oscar® nominee June Squibb her first leading role on-screen and features the final performance of trailblazing actor Richard Roundtree. Squibb plays Thelma Post, a feisty 93-year-old grandmother who gets conned by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson and sets out on a treacherous quest across Los Angeles, accompanied by an aging friend and his motorized scooter, to reclaim what was taken from her. Inspired by a real-life experience of Margolin’s own grandmother, Thelma puts a clever spin on movies like Mission: Impossible, shining the spotlight on an elderly grandmother as an unlikely action hero. With infectious humor, Margolin employs the familiar tropes of the action genre in hilarious, age-appropriate ways to tackle aging with agency. In the first leading film role of her 70-year career, Squibb portrays the strong-willed Thelma with grit and determination, demonstrating that she is more than capable of taking care of business – despite what her daughter Gail, son-in-law or grandson might believe.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ella S. comments, “I love the movie Thelma! It has the perfect combination of action, jokes and emotion that makes it balanced and complete. Thelma taught me many valuable lessons and gives my generation a new perspective on technology and the world we live in.” See her full review below.  

 

Thelma

By Ella S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

 

I love the movie Thelma! It has the perfect combination of action, jokes and emotion that makes it balanced and complete. Thelma taught me many valuable lessons and gives my generation a new perspective on technology and the world we live in. 

 

Thelma (June Squibb) is a 93-year-old, widowed woman who is easily scammed due to her hilarious lack of computer knowledge. Michael (Aidan Fiske) and Harvey (Malcom McDowell) call Thelma and impersonate her grandson, Danny (Fred Hechinger), pretending he has gotten into a car accident, Thelma wires $10,000 to an unknown source with no hesitation. When Danny returns home safe and Thelma realizes she has been tricked, she and her friend Ben (Richard Roundtree) steal a scooter from a nursing home and take off on a journey to get their revenge. 

I am impressed with the execution of the character development in Thelma, particularly that of Danny. The film begins by depicting him as a caring but irresponsible individual who has good intentions but struggles with organization. However, Thelma’s sudden disappearance serves as a wake-up call, motivating Danny to take initiative, starting by renewing his driver’s license, which his parents (Parker Posey, Clark Gregg) have been reminding him to do. Thelma indirectly influences Danny’s growth by making him step up in a time of crisis. Thelma also undergoes an improvement when she finally tracks down her scammers. She originally set out to seek revenge but, once she sees that Harvey and Michael are alone and struggling for money, she finds herself sympathizing with them. She gains a sense of perspective when listening to their story and, though she still takes back her money, she leaves them $500, displaying the shift in her focus from revenge to justice. I love that even though Thelma is based on heavier themes such as aging, death, and the flaws of technology, there is plenty of room for humor! My favorite moments in the film are when Thelma and Ben run away with their bright red scooter, angering the staff of the nursing home; and again when Thelma steals a gun without knowing how to use it. Considering that Thelma does not actually hurt anyone, the look on Harvey’s face when she accidentally shoots the wall is priceless. Watching Thelma attempt to learn about computers and pop-up advertisements is equally entertaining.

Thelma taught me many things. I learned to always consider multiple sides of a story before making decisions, and I learned that perspective can change everything. It also reminded me that sometimes people that seem the most fragile actually turn out to be the most capable — so don’t underestimate anyone. That grandma who makes amazing snickerdoodles might turn out to be quite a skilled motorcyclist. Be aware that Thelma contains smoking and mild gun violence although there are no injuries, casualties or bloody scenes. 

I give Thelma 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Thelma releases to theaters on June 21, 2024. 

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