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Thelma, a shy young student, starts to experience extreme seizures while studying at a university in Oslo, Norway. She soon learns that the violent episodes are a symptom of inexplicable, and often dangerous, supernatural abilities.
The exquisitely shot Thelma operates on a level of dreamlike metaphor in which the basic notion of escaping the grip of childhood is mixed with dark imagery of infanticide, self-destruction, and plain old poor impulse control
[Thelma] features one of the best horror-movie tropes: the second-act research scene in which the protagonist tries to figure out what's going on. No movie can be all bad with one of those scenes, and Thelma's already pretty good.
Trier has found a new way to depict and talk about these emotions and experiences that most human beings know and can never really get over. His way is cold, deadpan, extreme, and very Scandinavian, and it's effective.