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Anya Taylor-Joy shines as fan-favourite Furiosa in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Directed by George Miller, the film also stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke

Chandreyee Chatterjee Calcutta Published 23.05.24, 06:08 PM
A still from Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

A still from Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. IMDb

It is not a surprise that the morning shows for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga had more people than one would expect. It’s a given since Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road became the highlight of the film pushing the titular hero Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) into being a second fiddle, and who wouldn’t want to know more!

A prequel to Fury Road, Furiosa begins with a young version of the titular character picking fruits in an eden of abundance. But it isn’t long before raiders come calling and young Furiosa (Alyla Browne) is forcefully taken. Right from the start, Miller makes it clear that Furiosa is no damsel in distress even as a young girl, whether she is cutting the fuel pipe with her teeth or playing mute to avoid giving away her location and understanding that the only way to keep her home a secret is to make sure no one who knows its location stays alive.

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Furiosa finds herself as a prisoner of mad warlord Dementus, played with manic energy by Chris Hemsworth, who seemed to have a blast playing the role. But it often feels a little too cartoonish. Furiosa is traded for better rations to Immortan Joe, who fans will remember from Fury Road as the grotesque man who ran the Citadel. The film delves into darker territory as the young Furiosa catches the eye of Immortan Joe’s hulking brute of a son. She manages to escape by pretending to be one of the chattel workers, slowly moving up the ladder as she grows older.

The minute Anya Taylor-Joy takes on the role of the older (but still a young adult) Furiosa you wonder how someone so frail can possibly morph into the strong and capable Furiosa portrayed by Theron. But Miller uses her frailty to make her move through some intricate dances during action sequences that makes you believe that she can somehow always survive. Her stoic silence is very much in character with the older version we see in Fury Road. What makes the decision to cast Taylor-Joy as Furiosa a winner is her large, luminous and expressive eyes that are riveting at all times, especially when she is looking up from under her dark painted forehead.

Her journey to the Furiosa we saw in Fury Road brings her under the tutelage of Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke), a taciturn character modelled along the lines of Max Rockatansky, who teaches her the skills we saw her using in the 2015 film.

Where Fury Road made the apocalypse ‘cool’ despite it feeling like a premonition of things to come given the state of the world, Furiosa goes deeper into what human beings are capable of when faced with scarcity of food, water and fuel. From infighting, looting and plundering to cannibalism, it is a scary peek into the not-too-distant future. The film also fleshes out places like Gastown and Bullet Farm along with the Citadel that we saw in Fury Road.

The action sequence set amidst the apocalyptic desert background of Australia is as extravagant as Fury Road with bike chases, car chases, coloured flares and gasoline-fuelled flames. So Mad Max fans will be sufficiently satisfied, but somehow it feels like it is on a smaller scale when compared to Fury Road where every action sequence felt like a painting of a fevered mind.

So while Furiosa delivers on the thirst for more about the silent rig driver as well as more of George Miller’s gasoline-guzzling spectacle, it still falls short of the magnificence that was Fury Road. But then, most films usually will.

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