'Furiosa' Review: A visually stunning tale fit for cinema

'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga' stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth in lead roles

By Mahwash Ajaz

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Anya Taylor-Joy in a scene from 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'
Anya Taylor-Joy in a scene from 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'

Published: Thu 23 May 2024, 4:35 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 May 2024, 10:39 PM

The Mad Max world is wilder than the wild wild west. It isn’t your regular fight for survival, it’s a dog-eat-dog, man-eat-man (quite literally), war-heavy, parched for love and starving for humanity sort of a world. George Miller creates a high-drama feature with Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, the prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth, this cinematic thriller is a treat in the IMAX experience, as was its predecessor.

We are taken into the childhood of Furiosa (Alayla Browne), a young curious girl who is kidnapped by the army of Dementus (Hemsworth). As the young Furiosa (who is yet to actually be Furiosa) watches her mother get captured by the blood-thirsty, violent gang lead by Dementus, she stares back at the world with a belligerent anger, one that serves up cold at the end of the film - but you need to watch the film for how that happens. For now, you need to know this and only this: in a world where cinematic features vie for competition with their streaming partners, a dog-eat-dog world of storytelling, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is one that justifies the time, money and the leaving of your cosy Netflix corner to step into the satisfyingly brutal and worthy experience of watching this Miller offering.

It’s not for nothing that the film received a long and powerful standing ovation at Cannes recently. Taylor-Joy brings her striking intensity to Furiosa. As origin stories go, as Marvel drops the ball on many of its phantasmal heroes, Miller steps up to the plate with Browne and Taylor-Joy, both of whom hold one half of the film each.

Hemsworth, as Dementus, is a far cry from the lovable, handsome hero we have always seen him to play. He is Thor’s evil twin, as Dementus, (Loki just seems like a teddy bear compared to this maniac) with wild hair, sure, but a heart turned evil beyond repair.

Chris Hemsworth in a scene from 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'
Chris Hemsworth in a scene from 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'

Exploring themes of war, peace, diminishing resources and the true nature of man’s propensity for violence, crime and greed, Furiosa is less action-packed than Fury Road but no less intense. With limbs flying everywhere every few minutes and human carnal fears explored in every possible way, Miller’s storytelling is worthy of study. Taylor-Joy powers through gravity defying stunts with ease and finesse and Miller exploits her expressive eyes to the hilt.

Finding women at the centre of a violent story is still not an art perfected by many filmmakers but Miller comes the closest in this regard. In one particular shot, Taylor-Joy bikes her way through the sunset, on a sand dune’s edge. That shot is breathtaking, not just because of the perfect melody of the soundtrack, the cinematography and the positioning of her triumph over one battle (if not the war) - but because it solidifies women’s position and concept of being more than damsels in distress.

“Make yourself valuable,” a young Furiosa is advised, “and Dementus will look after you.” Furiosa doesn’t budge. A young girl who refuses to fall into the hands of a benevolent dictator, Furiosa charts her own journey. She is her own woman. And what a joy it is (no pun intended) to watch a film where women do that - and do it so splendidly.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is now playing in UAE theatres. And you’d be amiss if you wait for it to arrive on a small screen, which is just not as worthy of a tale so visually stunning.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Director: George Miller

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Anya Taylor-Joy

Stars: 4.5/5


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