When it was released, Mad Max Fury Road had the same impact as that of the twilight saga as far as the social media is concerned. Wherever I looked, I found something or the other related to this film. Mel Gibson, with rusty yet charming voice, charisma and good reputation (until 2008) made an impact with the Mad Max series. In this fourth installment, Tom Hardy steps into those shoes with Charlize Theron as his sidekick. At least, that’s what you expect. However in this film, Tom Hardy is hardly the protagonist as Charlize Theron completely takes over with her Ellen Ripley style (or better) portrayal.
The movie is about Furiousa (Charlize Theron), rescuing the harem of gigantic malevolent leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays Byrne) who eventually sends an army to chase her. Immortan Joe is the antagonist with nerve-racking and ugly appearance, everything that tries to challenge him is mediocre. And… there’s a guy named Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), who is introduced as someone who is mad; he eats a lizard in his introduction scene and is delusional, he is eventually caught by Immortan Joe’s people. Mad Max (Tom Hardy) is dragged into this whole chase.
The movie is named “Mad Max” but the film is all about Furiousa, strong and one of the best female characters in an action film of recent times, which is inspiring for those women out there who, after watching this film, can go out and say “I matter“. I watched this film in 3D in my well-polished home theater. The first half made me dizzy thanks to the cinematographic style that include too many zoom ins and flying shots, quick edits and over the top acting by most of the supporting cast, best being Nicolas Hoult as Nux. While Immortan Joe and his gang of hyper excited followers are chasing Furiousa, they not only take guns and bombs, Joe has a team of drummers and a guitarist whose guitar spits out fire, to cheer him in his chase.
I thought to myself, “15 more minutes and I will go mad“. I kept thinking, how the hell this film received all the critical appreciations, oscar nods and 97% rating at rotten tomatoes. However after viewing it the second time, I thought “this is not bad”; while watching it the third time, my thoughts were “This film is amazing, how can it not win all the accolades?”. Same as what nostalgia critic mentioned in his review. Mad Max Fury Road is a perfect example of a film that gets better with each viewing.
The entertainment value skyrockets once the precious “items” stolen (or saved) by Furiousa is revealed. The action scenes of this film changed the definition of action film genre, in a good way. Because we are in the film with these characters as they go on in their journey fighting for their right to be themselves. The “second chase scene” is one of the best the best experiences I have had while watching a 3D action film.
P.S. watch the 3D version, as it looks mediocre in small screen.
When compared to Fury Road every other film, with the current usage of (too much) CGI, looks mediocre. The sound design, cinematography, editing, makeup and visuals effects, technical side deserved every single accolade it received including 6 Oscars. We could feel the explodes, the heat of the desert, the emotions of the characters, intensity of the circumstances; we could feel the hydrocarbons and until the end, we are with these characters in their journey towards redemption and retribution. The peculiarity is the film’s ability to communicate with the audience with less or no dialogues, in typical George Miller style.
If you see this whole film with an empty mind, then it nothing more than a chase movie with many explosions and hydrocarbon filled action. What really takes the kick is the symbolism associated with colonialism, poverty, capitalism affecting the poor, and feminist movement (which is misunderstood as propaganda). Immortan Joe is the main villain or the capitalist who afflicts pain among common people by draining them dry, thus controlling them with false fantasies and more importantly, water. He is the kind of person that has the morbid desire to live. He treats everyone and everything around him like ‘things’ and, the plantations, infrastructure, people etc. are all his ‘property’. In the world introduced to us by George Miller’s imagination, the most expensive items include water, healthy blood and fertile women; symbolizing future world born out of pollution and pandemic population. Therefore, our Max’s role in his world is that of a “blood bank” or “blood bag”. The people on the other hand, want freedom that is basic access to clean water and healthy food; most of them don’t have the proper motivation to fight back so they are forced to live as slaves. The movie is also the satirical or exaggerated depiction of the result of all the exploitation of nature that is currently taking place. George miller brought all these socially relevant issues within the entertainment scenario.
The base of this film is feminism, the fight for the liberation of women’s rights in a patriarchal world where they have no identity of their own. This film shows characters wanting healthy sons as their successor, at the same time it highlights the fact that improper up-bringing can make one a criminal. The “power of female” aspect is understood better once you read the articles or watch rant videos made by anti-feminists who calls out to men, asking them to boycott this film. The most annoying aspect of a typical film depicting a strong female character is the masculine overtones they get as appreciations (feminine overtones are used to insult men, as if it is regressive or weak). This movie is devoid of all that both feminity and masculinity is appreciated in women and men respectively. Furiosa is the feminist leader who gave her fellow women sense of hope and she has her own reasons to be able to take a stand against the oppressors, may it be Immortan Joe’s sadistic deeds or the world that devoured them of their identities. Along with Furiosa, other women shine in this film. From the disfigured old lady who confronts Immortan Joe in his “vault” to Furiosa’s army. The rescued harem are not limited to the status of damsels in distress. They also help Furiosa and Max during their fight. Each of them are ready to take their own risk to succeed in their journey. Mad Max Fury Road also helps in proving the fact that graphic rape scenes are invalid.
I was so glad to finally see Charlize Theron in a role where she could shine, after watching disasters like Hancock and Prometheus where her talents could not be exploited. She delivered an effortless performance and the final result is the pinnacle of Charlize’s hard work and dedication. Tom Hardy stuck to his standard performance with deep narrative voice. Nicolas Hoult did his best overacting in years and at times, his performance gave me head ache. However, it suited the circumstances of his character and the turn of events that made him a hero is done well. Kudos to Miller for that, and for Hoult, this role is a positive streak. Another person who deserves the cake for his overrating is Hugh Keays Byrne and almost everyone who had white colored make up. But to thanks his portrayal of Immortan Joe this eight lettered word will never sound the same again…
And there are many plotholes that kept bothering me, like how could Max survive that long when his blood is continuously being pumped out. Biggest plothole is, how did those women (Furiosa’s relatives) survive in a place with no plantations and shelter. The film should have revealed more about these slaves and nuclear holocaust that lead to the formation of the wasteland. They should have elaborated more about the chrome spray, it is actually narcotic given to Immortan Joe’s followers to do the sacrifice for him.
Mad Max fury road is the best entertainer I have watched in the last three years, it is a ride that takes you along with its innovative style of presentation, sheer visuals, widely distributed sound effects and fantastic performances, especially from Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy. The movie lets you experience the post-apocalyptic world suffering from capitalism and poverty.
Image source: Forbes