“Who’re you praying to?” ” Anyone that’s listening.”
Mad Max: Fury Road is relentless. The film rarely allows you a moment’s respite with action sequences as ambitious as they are extensive. The phenomenal stunt work is back with a vengeance, producing countless awe-inspiring moments of human marvel. The film’s action retains the spirit of the original trilogy through its use of its increased speed shots and unyielding destruction. One cannot help but feel gloriously overwhelmed.
This carnage is turned into a visual work of art by the splendour of its extraordinary setting. Though harsh and unforgiving to the characters, the deep blues, rich oranges and thick blacks of the desert landscape are a joy to behold. Every colour is the most vibrant version of itself in the post-apocalyptic world just wild enough to feel within real.
The film is essentially a dystopian tale of women’s struggle for freedom from slavery. The first real sight of females in Mad Max: Fury Road is in a scanning shot of a group of fuller-figure ladies being unceremoniously milked. The second is as a group of young women depart from a fuel tanker in outfits that would make Adam and Eve blush. Yet Mad Max is finally a big-budget, well-publicised example of writing women well. Both the two comparatively-sized films of the last month, Fast 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, attempted to place their female characters on level grounding to the male protagonists. In Fast 7, there is conscious effort to show that the ladies can kick just as much ass as the men, and in Avengers, Scarlett Witch and Black Widow are both central to the super-squad’s successes. Despite their best efforts however, the ladies never take centre stage. However in Mad Max: Fury Road, the women are written as true equals to their male counterparts. Though the titular character is followed centrally throughout the picture, Tom Hardy’s understated, tempered Max Rockatansky is often secondary to the ensemble of strong, powerful, resilitant females surrounding him. The scantily-clad young women are never placed as eye candy and are rarely sexualised. There is no mistaking these women for mere damsels-in-distress.
The standout character in the picture is not our protagonist but the excellent Charlize Theron. As the gruff Furiosa, Theron is unsurprisingly amazing. She, at one moment, shows an unbreakable resolve and in another she is irrepressibly emotive. Theron really steals the show, showing range and providing the affecting emotional moments in the picture.
If you let Mad Max: Fury Road whisk you away in its thousand-horsepower hurricane then its foot-to-the-floor vehicular madness will leave you endlessly entertained. Fury Road is a masterclass in post-apocalyptic action filmmaking and writing. It is relentless, exhausting and most certainly, Mad.