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May 16, 2015 09:16 AM 1898 Views
(Updated May 16, 2015 03:18 PM)





MAD MAX - FURY ROAD - Movie review

I ate civilization. It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then, he added in a lower tone, I ate my own wickedness.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

WARNING: SPOILERS GALORE( Fret not for this gawdfreakinawesome ride is 100% SPOILER - PROOF)

POSTAPOCALYPTIC. That is the first word I looked up on a search engine online once I got done with my first(without a shred of doubt there will be many more) dekko of the MAD MAX REBOOT. And according to the URBAN DICTIONARY it is the period of time after an event that caused mass destruction and has managed to wipe out a good chunk of the world's population.It is supposed to be hell on earth, where everything is poison and it will be hard to survive. Phew, that sounds pretty much like the zanier-than-zany world that George Miller has created. WithMAD MAX - FURY ROAD, Miller has not just stunningly redefined the genre of post apocalyptic cinema itself but also smashed to smithereens every unwritten rule of film making. And how!

For those like myself who somehow managed to miss out on the earlier Mad Max flicks, this stark, harsh world is unnerving yet overwhelming(sample TheWar Boys craving martyr like escape from their miserable, demented lives in the astonishing' Witness' scenes that end tragically with the demise of the enigmatic character namedNUX) nauseating yet mind boggling(from the main villain of the piece, the despotic, inhuman Immortan Joe to other equally psychopathic war lords all perversely partaking in this frenetic chase to even the hero(unarguably) of this enterpriseFuriosa, everyone has some terrible physical impediment) And for most of its running time( I think there are three, perhaps four times in the entire movie that its gargantuan pace slows down for a well earned pit stop if you may) it actually does play out like an all encompassing, powerful acid trip. You think you are in control. Then it erupts.

Having read dozens of gushing reviews of the movie before watching it, I feel the greatest disservice most reviewers are doing(albeit unintentionally) to the genius of Miller is by reviewingMAD MAD - FURY ROAD as an action flick. This is NOT your manipulative, crowd pleasing, creatively constipated(for lack of a better phrase) run of the mill Hollywood summer blockbuster. No sir! It transcends the genre, pretty much like I daresay(as it will invite comparisons)THE DARK KNIGHT was much, much more than just a comic book hero flick. The ground breaking stunts by Guy Norris( Chuck, the'other' Norris was my childhood action hero, you are mine now) the visual splendor(captured on lens by the inimitable John Seale like only he can) path breaking production values(worth every dime of the 150 mil budget), the kinetic, unrelenting editing by Miller's better half, Margaret Sixel, the cacophony of the bludgeoning soundtrack by Junkie XL(short for expanding limits) aka Tom Holkenborg are all carefully orchestrated props in an elaborate facade. An illusion created by a maestro. Look beyond and there is an unmissable take away from all this mayhem. That our time is running out.

Another triumph forMAD MAX - FURY ROAD is the script, an aspect of the film hitherto undervalued(very unfairly) by most reviewers. Forget the main protagonists, from the WIVES to Joe's severely impaired sons, from the War Boys of Valhalla to the members of the GAS TOWN gang and the BULLET FARM gang to the group of feisty, old women of Furiosa's tribe(curiously called Vulvalinis), they are all so immersing that one is immediately curious to know their back stories. Without making his protagonists mouth pages of inane gibberish, here a lot is conveyed mostly by way of action, using visuals. As the master Hitchcock said "Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms." Pardon me for thinking aloud but is this not what IS good writing?

Hugh Keays-Byrne(who actually has his roots back in British India) plays the chief antagonist, Immortan Joe and is quite extraordinary. Right off, his grotesque persona, ruthless demeanor and inhuman nature make you despise him and when he is bumped off by Max in the end, you are almost numb with disbelief. Such is his arresting presence on screen. Nicholas Hoult, in a ghoulish avatar as NUX(unrecognizable fromX-MEN FIRST CLASS) has a fantabulous role with more eye ball grabbing scenes than even Max. His role of a misguided, brain washed youth with a feverish clamour for glory by death seems to be(quite eerily) referenced from the fidayeen militants of our world. The role of Max( whom Nux likes to simply address as' blood bag') played with great surefootedness by Tom Hardy has drawn some criticism. Some say the role lacks meat, some feel it is weak and others feel it gets overshadowed too often. I say, give him time to grow into the role and lest we forget he has two more sequels to catch up.

To catch up, did I say? That is right. With Imperator Furiosa. While filmingMAD MAX- FURY ROAD, Miller supposedly had lengthy interactions with Eve Ensler(of The Va*a Monologues fame) and the character played by Charlize Theron is the kind that Ensler would have been proud of. The ultimate embodiment of female empowerment, Theron brings to her character tremendous dignity(you can see the torment and anguish in those searing eyes) and portrays her like she was born to do so. Whether it is in her fierce fight with Max initially or later when she tenderly asks Max to'get some rest' when he wakes up with a fit(from one of his nightmares) and looks behind with concern when he leaves to finish off some baddies, or when she lets out a bloodcurdling scream on realizing that the world of her childhood does not exist, this is a performance that is all heart.

And what can one say about George Miller? MAD MAX - FURY ROAD comes 30 years after the last of the MAD MAX movies starring MEL GIBSON. And once the lights go out, it is almost like the floodgates open(with a vengeance) and everything gets swept away in the maddening melee that follows. This is a cult action movie of Himalayan proportions, be it in terms of scale, vision or execution. If this does not get a nod from the OSCARS for Miller, it will be a shame. And a loss. For The OSCARS.

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