Mad Max Fury Road Part 1
We saw Mad Max Fury Road last week…and we are still decompressing from the incredible cinematic experience that it was (and planning our second viewing – this time in IMAX perhaps?). The film has gotten rave reviews and some interesting publicity from men’s rights activists (blech!). We thought that this was one of the most stupendous films we have ever seen, a film that could change cinema for the future, and a truly immersive and entertaining experience. It was one of the first times where when the lights came up and the movie was over, I felt sadness and loss, wishing it would last just a little bit longer.
There wasn’t a moment of the film that didn’t have us on the edge of our seats. The energy in the theatre was palpable, everyone completely engrossed in the moment forgetting where they were.
I personally had been concerned that a childhood favourite might become tarnished – after all, so many classics that I adored growing up have been remade or sequelled into a hellish product (ahem, Star Wars). But George Miller delivered a masterpiece in his Mad Max world revival. The dystopian film works on so many levels that are extremely relevant and necessary to contemplate in our current times.
In the Mad Max, the end of the world as we know it has come and gone. The landscape has changed and is no longer as hospitable to life as it once was. The straggles of survivors have banded together into factions, defending the patches of land they have laid claim to. Societal norms that we take for granted have eroded, and the purpose of living is merely to survive.
The film tackles such heavy topics as climate change, power and control by leaders who are only after meeting their own needs and greed, wealth disparity, the treatment of women in our society (yeah, misogyny is a rampant issue! Deal with it and change Menimists). But most importantly the film delivers a message of hope: the hope that there is something to fight and survive for; the hope that things can change, that we can change it; the hope that one person can create a movement that sparks a revolution; the hope that our existence is worth something. These issues were woven seamlessly into the story, less spoken than a simple known entity. The elaborate back-stories of the characters worked flawlessly to communicate them.
George Miller also did another thing that we never see in cinema: He portrayed women as women. We are strong but can still be vulnerable, are compassionate but can still kick some serious butt, are feminine but still have an edge. There was no presence of the typical Hollywood “Damsel in Distress” waiting for a man to rescue her. There was no hint of these women being anything less than well-rounded, dynamic, and deep. It is a rare thing to see such roles written for women – this is commonly a depiction reserved for men.