*Originally written in 2004
Since much has been said about the feminist themes in this movie, I will not add anything except to say that this is an empowering film with strong female characters made in the time before the movement, from a celebrity standpoint, went wrong. Moreover, it’s a story of friendship and unity, and happens to include some terrific performances and memorable dialogue and action.
I’ve long felt this is one of the best road movies ever, not merely because the central characters are women, and have an enduring bond but because the film has that sense of freedom that road movies should have, apt given that the characters are each escaping something mundane or painful, ironic because they are constantly, inevitably being hunted down by forces that would ensnare them. We have gorgeous shots of the open road, we have some fun chase moments, and we have that intangible something that fuels dreams of revolution and wanderlust. The script is excellent, every performance is worthy of an award, Davis and Sarandon are a wonderful partnership, and the cinematography is beautiful, working well with the soundtrack. Scott is known for his ability to capture an image, and his visual style here is very strong.
The plot sees two women going on a weekend trip to get away from their mundane, housewife style everyday lives. When a man is killed after an attempted rape, they find themselves on the run, wondering whether they should give themselves up, or continue together. As the film moves on, their bond grows, and the ambiguous ending will continue to be discussed for many years. One of the best films of the nineties, and worth watching again to remind ourselves of the time when Feminism seemed like a movement gathering momentum rather than the fractured one many see it as today.
The DVD is filled with excellent special features – a highly illuminating documentary and a variety of key deleted scenes mean that this is an essential purchase for movie fans.