Thelma Review (2017) and Ending Explained


Thelma is slow-burning supernatural drama from Sweden.

The Story

Thelma is about a confused religious girl named Thelma.  Thelma is in love with another female friend, at the same time, she finds herself frequently gets into seizures and determine to find out what is wrong with her.

The Review (Spoiler Free)

Thelma is a hard film to categorize.  The movie contains everything from drama, mystery, supernatural elements, and a bit of horror.  Thelma is essentially a story about love, and self-discovery.

The movie starts out as a typical teenage lesbian love story.  But if you watch the movie all the way through, you’ll see that the movie is lot more than that.  As the movie slowly reveals the dark side of Thelma’s past, it gets very complicated and very thought-provoking.

Thelma is slow-burner film but the pace is even enough that it never gets too dull or drags. The opening sequence is perfect.  It sets the overall tone of the film right from the beginning.

All the performances are simply top-notch and the cinematography is stunning without much special effects. The story is told in a beautiful manner. It is very well written, although the story is bit comparable to Carrie.

If you decided to watch this movie, you will not regret it.  Everyone who love dark films with haunting atmosphere, good performances, and beautiful cinematography should not miss this one.

Ending Explained (Spoiler Alert!)

If you pay attention to the movie, Thelma is very dark movie with very dark ending.  If you think that the movie ends with two female lovers who live happily after, then you are terribly mistaken.

Thelma has special supernatural power.  Her dad saw early on that Thelma has special power, and without controlling her power, she can be very dangerous to the family.  This struggle was going on for a while.  You see in the beginning of the movie where the father was trying to kill her.  (We found out that Thelma is responsible for kill her baby brother, and put her mother in a wheelchair.)  But he couldn’t go through with it.  So, she continues to mature as a young woman and her power grew.  Meanwhile, she was also struggling to understand what is happening to her as she continues to experience seizures.  At the end of the movie, she embraced her power and decided to use her power to get what she wants.  So, you might say she turned into very dangerous monster.

From the beginning, Thelma was always controlling Anja without her knowing it.  Thelma made her breakup with her boyfriend.  Thelma is the one who made her come and stand outside her apartment window.  Thelma subconsciously made Anja touch her sexually in the concert hall.  Anja’s love for Thelma is involuntary.  Anja had so control over herself. 

At the end, Thelma and Anja seems to back together again and appears to be in love with each other.  Thelma started to realize that she has special power to control others mind.  So, she decided to use her power to get what she wants.  Thelma was still in love with Anja, so she decided to control her, so they can be together.  As you can see, this isn’t a happy ending at all.  Anja is now a prisoner.  What will happen when Thelma and Anja have a quarrel?  What will happen when Thelma doesn’t get her way with Anja?  Will she set her on fire, as she did to her father.  Will she bury her under the ice lake, as she did to her baby brother?  Thelma turned into a dangerous monster and Anja is trapped in a nightmare rest of her life.

In the Nutshell

Thelma starts out as a typical teenage lesbian love story.  But it is very dark and thought-provoking supernatural drama.  [4 out of 5 stars]

If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating. 


Genre: Supernatural Drama

Rottentomatoes Rating: 92% | 76%

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One comment

  1. “then you are terribly mistaken.”
    The director says its a happy ending for them so I think you might be mistaken.

    The first time yoy watch the movie you don’t ecer stop to ask if Anja’s attraction and then love of Thelma is natural or if its magically coerced – because why would you? But the SECOND time you watch, you should be very attentive to Anja, her signals and what the movie is telegraphing the you about what’s happening.

    And when you watch closely see that Anja is smitten with Thelma pretty quickly and is very attentive to her. When they’re together with Anja’s friends and Thelma has turned a somewhat embarassing moment back on Christopher and made him look dumb, Anja is glowing.

    When she finally makes a move on Thelma in the ballet, you see on her face that she’s deliberating what she’s about to do.

    The one time you know she’s been manipulated by Thelma, the scene she shows up outside Thelma’s residence, the film makes it painfully obvious what’s happening. There’s the weird sounds, flickering lights, the camera focusing on tress blowing in the wind.

    However all of the other times they’re together none of the ques that telegraph to the audience that something supernatural is happening are present. What’s happening in the epilogue is confusing but it doesn’t make sense that Thelma is manipulating her, she doesn’t need to, we just watched Anja fall in love with her.

    “Anja had [no] control over herself.”

    She did though. Anja made the first move all the time and you can see what she feels pretty clearly through the story. Thelma’s trying to forget about that first seizure in the study hall and Anja seeks her out out of compassion. She encourages Thelma to dance even though she’s scared to (why would you puppet someone to push you to do something scary?) When Thelma tells her about Trond and the candle she’s judgemental. At the ballet before the show starts and she contradicts her mum in front of Thelma which makes Thelma visibly uncomfortable, Thelma is still so submissive to her parents and would never have that courage. At next party after the ballet Anja intercepts Thelma and is angry at her for being ghosted.

    She has agency and is autonomous of everyone else in the movie, explicitly contrasting Thelma.


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