Home Movies Reviews ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ (2024) Movie Review - Running through the Wasteland with George Miller

‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ (2024) Movie Review - Running through the Wasteland with George Miller

As the world collapses, young Furiosa is kidnapped from the Green Place of Many Mothers by an enormous biker horde commanded by the warlord Dementus. The film follows her story before she met Mad Max.

Vikas Yadav - Thu, 23 May 2024 17:26:38 +0100 938 Views
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George Miller shoots action scenes like a conductor. He smoothly waves his arms and creates intense, memorable sequences. His Mad Max movies unfold in scorching wastelands, but Miller conducts his business without breaking a sweat. The director surely spent a lot of time planning, organizing, and executing his wild set pieces. However, he doesn't let the audience see his efforts. The bodies and the vehicles move with such ease and choreographic precision that you are hypnotized by the seemingly effortless presentation. Mad Max: Fury Road almost burned your eyeballs with its delirious moments, like a chase scene set amidst a sandstorm. Miller, though, didn't merely settle for a sandstorm. He threw in water, oil, and a raging thunderstorm. Nothing in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is as crazy as that scene from Mad Max: Fury Road. In fact, this prequel (or call it a spinoff or whatever) seems tame compared to that 2015 post-apocalyptic action adventure.


This, however, doesn't mean Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is feeble. It's just that Miller, this time, doesn't give you an intense sensory overload. The images don't exactly grab you by your throat. Instead, they move with a sense of comfort. Miller doesn't feel the need to elevate his moments with breathless cuts. He trusts the actors, the vehicles, the balletic choreography, and the assured rhythms to do their work. The action scenes in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga are seductive: They turn you on and leave you enraptured. Every movement raises your heartbeat; every gear shift or pedal thrust generates propulsive energy.


Mad Max: Fury Road has already revealed Furiosa's (Charlize Theron) fate. This knowledge might diminish the suspense in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, but it's almost exciting to see how the ticking bomb-like sound in the first chapter adds tension to Mary Jo Bassa's (Charlee Fraser) quest - Find Furiosa (Alyla Browne) and bring her back. Browne, as young Furiosa, delivers a stellar performance. Her steely gaze, directed towards Dementus (Chris Hemsworth), is as sharp as the blade she uses to cut her hair. Browne and Anya Taylor-Joy share similar facial features, making it believable that the adult Furiosa will resemble Taylor-Joy. Both actors maintain consistency in their performances. You smile when you see how Miller decides to grow the character: The camera traces the growth of a branch.


This is not the only funny moment in the film. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is filled with comic touches, most of which are derived from Dementus. Look at him as he declares how much he loves Furiosa like a daughter. Hemsworth plays his part like a ruthless child present inside the body of an adult. He displays one brief moment of affection when he rescues Furiosa from the brutish citizens of Citadel. It's hard to put your finger on the source of this parent-like gesture. Dementus mentions that he, too, had children, but his voice has traces of deceit and manipulation. You wonder if he is telling a lie or the truth. You never trust him, so a part of you thinks he is trying to score faux pity points when he says his family was destroyed by savages. But then, why would he be carrying a soft toy? Well, in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, not everything makes sense. This is a film that crushes logic with its giant wheels in the same way Dementus's men crush the skull on which a lizard eats small insects (these people are the real animals).

 

For instance, it's never made clear what happens after Furiosa escapes from the vault where women are kept as slaves. Is anybody - or any women from the vault - punished for her disappearance? Does Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme) set up a search party to find the little girl? Furiosa cuts her hair and later hides it with a helmet to pass herself as a boy so that she can be hidden from Joe's gaze. It's difficult to accept that she manages to hide her gender for such a long time. The scene where Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke) sees Furiosa's long hair is meant to be dramatic, given she is exposed in front of one of Joe's men and that, too, a commander of the Citadel's military forces. Yet, Furiosa doesn't feel threatened after this revelation. When she returns to the Citadel, no one raises questions regarding her presence.


Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is funny all right, but one joke turns out to be unintentionally hilarious. Well, it's not exactly a joke. It's just another instance where logic is burned with a flamethrower. As Dementus's men drag Jack's body on the ground in a circular motion, Furiosa somehow manages to escape from their clutches. How does she run away from so many men around her? How did no one notice her? Miller, though, isn't concerned with these things. This is, after all, a film where a little girl effortlessly drives a bike without formal training. A filmmaker doesn't necessarily need to follow logic to create magic. Potent images can make you ignore most of the flaws in the story. Miller has crafted impressive visuals in this film, but they are unable to stop you from asking these questions. The images are like a well-oiled machine: They do their jobs neatly, competently, and commendably. This doesn't mean they are spectacular exceptional or dazzling.


Beneath all the lively chase-and-kill scenes lies a thin revenge fantasy and a sentimental love story. Miller, with writer Nico Lathouris, tries to reach mythic heights and fails because Furiosa, as a character, is bland. He also inserts a solemn voiceover that is just embarrassing, not grand. Miller, in interviews, has said that dialogue tends to slow things down and that the film medium is best enjoyed at high speed. This high speed prevents Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga from becoming soppy. It saves it from being extremely excruciating.


Final Score- [6.5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times

 

 

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