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#CANNES77 | Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

#CANNES77 | Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga


The reboot that was Mad Max: Fury Road introduced the character of Furiosa (Charlize Theron), whom not only stole any room on screen from the madman on the road (Tom Hardy), but generated a prequel featuring her as a protagonist. Even the term Mad Max in the film’s title was relegated as to allow the recognition that it is a new iteration within the saga which, I have no doubts, will have more entries.

George Miller continues in charge of this new entry, depicting the origin, growth and development of a character –Furiosa’s, of course-, something perhaps he did not do in previous installments, which is to stress out the genesis of a character other than Mad Max. Therefore, the tone of this story is established with the loud roar of engines at the beginning of the film. And, among other aspects to analyze, a mapping is made (territorial location registry) that allows the audience to have a concrete idea of the physical space where all the action will take place, something similar to what was seen in films such as Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge.

In Furiosa three locations coexist among which the plot will develop. One of them is the recreation of reserve denominated “Green Place of Many Mothers”, a clear example Miller displays about his environmentalist ideology. Families live there together peacefully, but a group of bikers led by Warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) prowls around the proximities of the peaceful community. There we will find with a girl, whom at a very early age, shows skills for getting her way when facing situations denoting imminent danger. Between chases, running, hitting and falling, the cunning and young Furiosa (Alyla Brown, before Anna Taylor-Joy takes the role) and her mother (Charlee Fraser) manage to escape from their kidnappers, whom take the child as living evidence that the reserve exists. We find ourselves in an apocalyptic time where all natural resources are scarce and the villains –among them Dementus and the previously known Immortan Joe, who lies in the Citadel- want that place where water abounds and there is a community of poor dominated slaves, already seen in Mad Max: Fury Road.

After a tragedy, Furiosa is kidnapped by Dementus and his clan, to later fall into the hands of Immortan Joe through an exchange made at the Wasteland, land of distilleries. In this way Green Place of Many Mothers, Wasteland and Citadel coexist as the three geographical locations among which the vertiginous action will take place and, in theory, the vengeful push between two villains.

Another character is incorporated that will share a bond with Furiosa, that of Praetorian Jack, portrayed by Tom Burke.

The visual display in Furiosa is incredible, without any need to be compared to Mad Max: Fury Road. In this prequel, both the aesthetical and storytelling concepts have other intentions. Anna Taylor-Joy is different in many aspects from Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, but it is useful to understand the growth and physical transformation of her character. There are reminiscences to Anakin Skywalker’s conversion in Star Wars episodes II and III.

Chris Hemsworth has an important job. His Dementus is also created from suffering; it is a character that suffered loss and seeks for redemption.

Miller seeks with Furiosa for an environmental balance through the different settings it lays out. The chase sequences through missions marked on the mapping, between the ecological, water (essential to life, even more so in this post-apocalyptic context) and fuel (the energy required by vehicles, means of transportation on which most parts of the film are based on). Between comings and goings the terrain will be prepared to leave no loose ends before the arrival of that extraordinary film that was Mad Max: Fury Road.

Director: George Miller. Screenwriters: George Miller, Nick Lathouris. Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Charlee Fraser, Lachy Hulmer, Tom Burke, Nathan Jones. Producers: George Miller, Doug Mitchell. Runtime: 148 minutes.

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