Mad Max: Road Fury

The movie Mad Max: Fury Road (2005) is undoubtedly one of the best movies of the last decade. It is the fourth movie in the Mad Max series that began in 1979, also directed by George Miller, who maintained the essence of the original movies, which are, social issues such as power, greed, and the environment in front of a post-apocalyptic world. It is a very dynamic movie, with action scenes that hold the viewer from beginning to end. The director George Miller chooses not to slow down the movie to tell individual stories about the characters, he tells these stories through the Mise-en-Scéne, that is, makeup, costume design, photography and production design. The movie is so visual that it was made using storyboards, each actor received a copy of the script along with the storyboard and the director gave everyone the freedom to develop their character. Makeup and costumes, for example, are of great importance for the character’s development, no story needed to be told to know that King Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), who despite all his imposing appearance, hides a fragile body and short life span. His wives, for example, who at the beginning of the film have a sexier look, with light and short clothes, convey a feeling of fragility. As the plot progresses, the clothes get darker, they start to cover more of the body, and the characters create a stronger personality. Women even have a strong voice in this movie, for the first time in the Mad Max film series, we had a female co-protagonist, as strong, or even stronger than Max (Tom Hardy). Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), is perhaps the great female character in post-apocalyptic worlds that Hollywood has already made. In the plot, she is responsible for freeing the wives from the possession of King Immortan Joe, who kept them inside a safe and wearing chastity belts. The only purpose of the wives was to reproduce a perfect firstborn of the king. During the escape, their path crosses with the protagonist Max, and together they try to escape the relentless hunt led by Immortan Joe.

Technically, Mad Max: Fury Road is perfect, the movie was nominated for 10 Oscars and ended up being awarded in 6 categories, Best Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Film Editing, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Costume Design. In the action scenes, it is possible to feel the weight and speed of the machines, along with the choreographed performances of the actors, due to the quick editing cuts, and the perfect synchronization of these cuts with the sound effects, providing insane chase sequences. The recordings took place in a desert in Namibia, Africa, where the team could take advantage of all the natural light and beauty of the region, which along with post-production visual effects, form a movie with a unique look. Because most of the scenes are a chase, several high-speed car camera cranes were used to stabilize the images, the chase plans are mostly wide shots, which further enhances large production.

One of the great moments of the film, that highlights all the female importance in the plot, is the scene where the protagonist Max needs to shoot with a high-distance rifle to destroy the flashlight of an oncoming car. The scene starts with Max in an MS, aiming to make the shot, cuts to a Crane Shot of the car with the flashlight, and then a CU of the machine gun being fired by one of the members of the car. The scene returns to Max in MS making the shot and missing it, cuts to MS of one of the wives saying: “You got only two left”, cuts to Max in CU apprehensive, returns to Max’s MS aiming in the car, making a new shot and making another mistake, then cut to Furiosa in CU with an even more apprehensive look, she changes positions with one of the wives and goes towards Max, cuts to Max in Two Shot aiming at the car and Furiosa arriving behind him, he looks at Furiosa and pass the rifle to her, cut to MS of Furiosa by placing the rifle on Max’s shoulder, cuts to CU of her aiming at the car, cuts to Two Shot of Max apprehensive because he has the rifle on his shoulder and Furiosa says: “Don’t breathe”, Returns to her in CU aiming and firing, cuts to MS of the shot hitting the car’s flashlight and blinding the machine gunner’s sniper, cuts to WS of the car stopping and return to Two Angle of Max stunned by the noise of the gunshot. This scene has a great symbolic meaning, especially in the current moment in Hollywood, where studios are increasingly looking to value female protagonists by exposing the strength of women. When Max, the hero, and the protagonist of the film misses both shots, their only chance of survival is in a bullet. Recognizing and valuing the qualities of his partner, Max prefers to serve as support for her to save them. I believe that this scene perfectly portrays the present day, where women are increasingly present in all areas of activity, and with the recognition of this important role developed by women in our society, we can overcome all challenges together.

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