Monday, May 18, 2015

Fury Road, feminism, and messages

This is not actually a review but a commentary on Mad Max: Fury Road from my point of view and how I feel about the movie along with some of the things I see on the Internet about the movie. It's actually a collection of a number of things I posted on the social media.

First off, great movie. I love it. 4/5, only because I'm still reserving 5/5 for that ONE movie, so that's as high as it gets for me. So go watch the movie.

Though there were a lot of violence in the movie, there were not much blood and gore. Which was refreshing, you don't really need sex and gore as a device for an action story. For me this movie could have passed for a PG-13. There was as much violence as The Avengers.

Then we get to the best character of the movie, Furiosa. I can't give enough praises to the character design and personality of Furiosa,  kudos to George Miller. The physical appearance of Furiosa was just right as a post apocalyptic road warrior, and that steam punk mechanical arm completes the design. Furiosa was not a person of many words. Charlize Theron was great portraying Furiosa, her eyes speak volume. 

Max was also not a person of many words. He has also gone through a lot of shit in this post apocalyptic world, he has lost everything, and all he wants is to survive long enough for whatever reason. Max was not the center character of this movie. Bad luck, or maybe destiny, put him in the middle of this and watching things unfold. Max speaks the way things are, he is a person that lost all hope and see the way things are, in a way the voice of reason in a world gone mad. For this role Tom Hardy was alright, his look, his stare, did remind me of when Mel Gibson played Max. 

The movie to me has an "anime" feel to it. It was quite visual and the character Furiosa is something straight out of a steam punk anime. The Japanese has had many strong women leads in their anime/manga. Later I found out that George Miller wanted to make a Mad Max anime telling the back story of Furiosa and Max prior to Fury Road. Apparently George Miller used a storyboard to write Fury Road rather than a written out screenplay. He didn't want too much dialogue which may explain the focus on the eyes for the "conversations". He said something to the effect of the Japanese should be able to understand the story without the need of subtitles, making the movie very visual. This would explain the anime feel to the film. 

The odd thing I found being discussed in the Internet is some people are thinking that Fury Road is a feminist propaganda. Some of them went along with this and took sides. Some feminist now say that there was not much feminism in the movie. I find the whole thing a bit silly actually. I don't understand why someone can't tell a story about women standing up for themselves and kick ass without being labelled a feminist or having a feminist agenda. Women warriors have been existence far long before any feminist movements and they don't need feminist groups supporting them. 

Anyway, I haven't become more or less feminist or misogynistic after watching the movie. So I think it's pretty much safe to watch it if you're on either side of the issue. 

Though I don't see a feminist agenda in the movie I do see that George Miller wanted to send a message to their audience: resources are scarce and we should work together instead against each other; when resources are scarce we start doing crazy shit to one another; there will always be somebody that will manipulate your belief or make a belief of their own for their own gain which will lead to suicidal extremists; there will always be somebody to manipulate resources even if they are in abundance to control the people and make class distinctions; women could fight along men and they can stand up for themselves pretty well; kindness works better than hate; be realistic, but in the end there is always hope. 

There are probably some other messages in there I missed (no... Not feminism, I made that clear, at least from my view), but don't get too caught up looking for messages,  agendas, or propagandas. It's a damn good movie.  I enjoyed the whole thing and I would definitely give my recommendation. That is if my recommendation even matters. 

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