Monday, 20 June 2016

Mad Max: Fury Road (3 Stars)

"Where must we go, we women who wander this wasteland in search of our better selves?"

I gave this film a bad rating when I watched it last year. Click here to read my review. I don't think any of my reviews has ever stirred such displeasure with my fellow members of the Birmingham Film Club. Everyone liked it except for me. I really wish they had left comments on my blog so other people could appreciate their point of view. As it was they verbally accosted me whenever we met. They kept telling me to watch it again and see if I would change my opinion.

This year "Mad Max: Fury Road" won six Oscars, more than any other film, so I decided to watch it again. I still don't consider it to be a masterpiece, but I've begun to appreciate it more. I can see the importance of the feminist aspect of the film, something that I overlooked last year. Imperator Furiosa has rebelled against her leader, Immortan Joe. She has freed his five wives and is taking them to a haven run by women, the Green Place. The wives are little more than slaves. They're all glad to escape, even Angharad who is close to the end of her pregnancy.

These are the six women. I don't know if their names have any particular significance in the film. It's more likely that they're private jokes in the mind of the screenwriter/director George Miller.

The title character Max, played by Tom Hardy, is a man on the verge of madness. He constantly sees visions of people from his past. He finds a focus in his life by aiding Furiosa in her mission.

Here are a few random photos of the six women. Of course, they're less glamorous in the film than they are in real life. They're all easy to recognise, except for Charlize Theron, who has a totally different appearance as Furiosa.

Are they powerful women? At the beginning of the film only Furiosa is strong and self-confident. The five wives are still struggling to find their way in the wasteland of a male-dominated society. Cheedo even doubts she's doing the right thing and considers returning to her oppressive husband. It isn't easy to leave a life of slavery if that's all you know. But the women hold together, and they become stronger by forming a sisterhood. There's even a man, Max, who is willing to assist them.

But Max knows his place. When he's brought the women to a place of freedom his work is done. He doesn't stand rejoicing with them. He quietly slips away.

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