Watching Thelma & Louise…again!

Our group began preparation for our schematic. For this we tried to determine main characters and any characters with dialogue. Obviously Thelma and Louise are going to be the main focus of the schematic but secondary characters intersecting at points in the story.

Our main characters (who have more than three lines of dialogue) are:

  • Louise
  • Thelma
  • Darryl
  • Jimmy
  • Hal
  • Max
  • JD
  • Harlan

Ignoring Thelma and Louises, these are the characters which weave in and out of the storyline. Some like Harlan who’s journey ends very early on only appear briefly in the film but still considered a main character due to the impact of his character.

Secondary Characters are:

  • Albert
  • Trucker
  • Officer
  • Lena

These characters have  dialogue but but have very little and are forgotten about within the plot line of the story. Characters like Lena who impact the story are important to mention and the Trucker as he is a recurring character that Thelma and Louise come across.

Our background characters  are:

  • Motel Clerk
  • Waitress
  • Major
  • Cyclist
  • Old Man

These characters in their own right impact the story but on a low level, some of them are worth mentioning in the schematic like the cyclist as they influence the journey of the officer who was underhanded by Thelma and Louise later on in the movie. However the other characters wouldn’t have the same impact.

Our Honourable mention is Homer! Despite his character seeming very insignificant he made us laugh and was briefly introduced in the beginning. Also his story is very open ended which we could explore if we have time.

Jenny was very kind displayed this digitally for us which helped us match character names to faces.

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All of these photos were created by Jenny Finegan 

As a group we assigned a certain number of characters to track when they appear in scenes  and for how long. I was assigned the characters:

Lena The Waitress

Below is my notes as you can tell I was silly and did it vertically! Thelma obviously features in the story mostly all the way through with minor scenes where it cuts to other characters. Louise’s timeline correlates with Louise’s timeline which is good to know. Hal hasn’t got a lot of screen time but is spread throughout the film whilst minor characters have very little lines and scenes.

DSC_0895 1
Notes for selected characters.


Along with noting down characters scenes and when they appear,  I noted down significant   scenes and quotes which help in terms of coming up with the artifact. I’m surprised how much i was able to get out of the film and feel like I haven’t left behind my english literature days at school.

2.40“It ruins your sex drive” (Louise on smoking)

Smoking reference which becomes untrue using Thelma as an example. As Louise smokes as well does this reveal subtle exposition of her time in Texas.

6.30-7.28– Features montage of Thelma & Louise getting ready. Thelma is chaotic and indecisive; throwing any items in multiple suitcases whilst Louise is precise folding clothes and packing with thought. This seems to reveal a trait in their personality.  The gun is also first featured in this montage.

7.50– “I’m gonna take it anyway; just incase theres some escaped psycho killer on the loose.”(Thelma’s reason to take a lantern)

This seems to juxtapose the shooting with Harlan. The irony of them become the psycho killers who are on the loose.

9.00– Again referring to psycho killers; reasoning for bringing the gun. Oh the irony!!!!!

10.40– We see Thelma imitating Louise by smoking. Contrasts to later in the movie.

11.50– “I haven’t seen a place like this since I left Texas” (Louise at the Silver Bullet)
Insight into Louise’s Backstory but also foreshadowing of future events. We know Louise was raped in Texas, could this mean it happened at a bar. Justification why Louise shot Harlan as the situation was identical?

13.00– Louise is very cautious of Harlan guarding information on their road trip. Thelma on the other hand is very open and reveals all. Reveals personality traits and the effect Texas has had on Louise. Leaving her cautious and on guard.

13.16 – Lena foreshadows future events; triggering Harlan as a warning. As Lena and Louise are both waitresses do they have an observers insight into possible threatening events. Traits of the job.

13.56“You better dance with me before you leave or I will never forgive you” (Harlan to Thelma)
A forewarning that Harlan is bad news, Harlan shows a more sinister demeanour.

20.08– Harlan is violent; Thelma’s history and judgement of men are questioned.

14.13 –“All these years waiting tables has made you jaded” (Thelma on Louise)

Louise knows  best, her past has effected her judgement.

21.19 – Another indication Louise’s past; we see a wounded hero.

22.46– Louise is reliving the shooting with the gun in her hand. we are unsure if there’s doubt in her mind or if this could have been the alternative ending of her past in Texas.

23.22– Highlights problems in society that it is a man’s world.

24.20– Thelma cares for her vanity; trying to take control by brushing her hair despite having blood on her face. It isn’t cleaned until Louise notices and wipes it off her face. Showing Louise has more common sense.

25.23-25.50 – First Diner scene, “I’m sure having a good time i’m glad we came”(Thelma’s sarcasm) This leads to Louise striking a cord with Thelma. Highlighting another problem amongst society that it is the woman’s fault.

26.01-26.36– Thelma knocks over things on table; showing clumsy and chaotic personality. (Also i really like the cinematography; red lighting to show blood has been spilt- MUST FIND THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE!!!!!!) Our first payphone is revealed at the end.

27.00-27.17 “Neither of them is the type to pull something like this” (Lena on Thelma and Louise) Shows this can happen to the most ordinary of women. Also mention that being a waitress gives you an insight in to human nature, Louise has the same insight. Lena the waitress also was aware of Harlan’s demeanour; could this give insight into Harlan’s backstory.

28.20– Second reference to the phone whilst on the run

29.28 – Another reference to Thelma’s clumsy personality.

31.04– Louise is watching Thelma as she is at ground level approaching the pool. Louise is like a guardian, Also demonstrating hierarchy between characters with Louise above Thelma. 3rd phone appearance

35.15– Insight that Thelma is insane.

35.55– 4th phone appearance

37.10– Thelma ignores the economy size and chooses the smaller bottle of whiskey. Showing Thelma doesn’t think of the bigger picture. She lives in the moment hence poor decisions.

38.09– 5th phone appearance.

39.08– Thelma recognises her flawed relationship with husband Darryl. Showing character development as she hangs up on her husband.

41.41– Louise is cautious of JD. Showing her caution with men in her life.

42.48– Thelma chooses the path to go to Mexico with Louise, We moved to a silhouette showing unknown danger ahead.

43.35– There is more insight into Louise’s backstory on Texas. Truck noises in background to symbolises tension and chaos.

45.10– Louise values Jimmy despite keeping him at arms length. Her wanting to be close to Jimmy but her past is a threshold.

48.43– Thelma shows a change in character.

49.44– 6th appearance of phone.

50.00– As other characters were not aware of Thelma and Louises actions. Context is thrown out the window. Shows the story is set up to the following events.

52.54– “He no different to any other guy, he just loves the chase” (Louise on Jimmy)

Highlights Louise’s trust among men. Also describing fault amongst male population.

57.25“I do love you …but i think its time to let go of the old mistakes” (Louise to Jimmy)
Change in Louises character, starting to let go of her past in Texas.

58.11– Thelma’s adultery is shown, there is no longer a marriage between herself and Darryl

1.00.46“Robbery doesn’t totally have to be an unpleasant experience” (JD to Thelma)
Foreshadowing for Thelma robbing the convenience store.

1.05.06“I’ll catch up with you later down the road” (Louise to Jimmy) 
Possible foreshadowing

1.07.15– Chaotic hair, chaotic thelma

1.08.40“I’ve never been lucky not one time” (Thelma)
Shows that the journey for Thelma and Louise is not going to end well.

1.10.20– Louise’s heroic actions and internal pain is on the surface. Signs of the wounded hero.

1.14.31– Thelma and Louise turn chaotic. Louise’s personality starts to change.

1.16.12 & 1.17.05-Irony of Thelma being told off for littering and a speeding ticket. Showing their innocence despite murder and robbery.

1.17.31“Truck drivers are so nice”(Thelma)

Foreshadowing events with the truck driver. Thelma continues the poor judge of character.

1.21.00– Louise reveals more backstory on Texas, Texas is later revealed to audience at 1.35.00

1.24.00– JD shows remorse realising the length of his mistake. We can see Hal sympathising over Thelma and Louise.

1.26.30– Possibly 7th phone

1.29.44“You gotta just stop talking to people” (Louise to Thelma)

Louise tries to mentor Thelma on her flaws.

1.35.80-1.41.19– It ‘s evident there is a shift in Thelma’s character, she becomes the hero to Louise. Louise becomes the person who needs guidance as Thelma gives her instructions.

1.41.19“You’ve always been crazy”(Louise to Thelma)
Thelma’s character is revealed to audience.

1.43.30– Another phone call

1.44.05– Hal believes thelma and Louise despite being on the authorised of the law. He is aware of Louise’s backstory making him emotionally connected to Louise.

1.46.40– The realisation the characters can’t go back, they are aware of the end of their journey. There is awaken on both characters; freedom is closer.

1.53.09– Louise’s backstory again unfolds.  Did Louise learn self defence or did she kill her rapist. Explains triggering moment and calmness around guns.

1.59.49– Parallels to the beginning; Thelma is smoking, symbolic meaning of death.

End of long notes.


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