Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Film Review: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) - 'Exploitation Cinema'

Mad Max is a 2015 Australian and American Action film directed by George Miller. It follows the story of Max, a lone survivor out in the post-apocalyptic world, who is captured by a band of Half-Life boys, who worship a warlord Immortan Joe. One of Joe's luitenaunts, Imperitor Furiosa, betrays him and steal away his five wives in an attempt to get them to safety. Max is caught up in protecting the wives and Furiosa, and the small group along with an newly outcasted Half-life Boy, Nux, drive away and fight off several groups of attackers and persuers, until they finally make a final charge back to where they came, killing Immortan Joe and putting a new life of freedom in the Citadel.

One major factor about Mad Max: Fury Road and much like all of the Mad Max films prior to the latest instalment is that it is an exploitation film. Exploitation film is a film which finds one aspect to exploit to make a large profit. Mad Max: Fury Road is an excellent example of an exploitation film as it takes advantage and exploits the use of grand visuals and a large amount of action with the use of large complex cars to gain a large target audience of vehicle enthusiasts and action film lovers.

The visuals within Mad Max capture the audience's attention straight from the very beginning of the film, with the bizarre haunting imagery Max hallucinates, and soon within the first few minutes into the film the audience is shown a two headed lizard, followed swiftly by a small chase with the dystopian, battle ready vehicles. These strange and bizarre visuals are presented to the audience again in the people who live within the Citadel, such as all the strange lumps and boils and the many deformations each person has, the unusual and grand visuals are exploited again in the appearance of the Half-life boys, pure white, again with boils, very lithe and thin, with car oil spread across their faces and eyelids like warpaint.

The visuals become even more grand as they plot turns onto the car chase as Max, Furiosa, and Joe's wives flee  from Immortan Joe. The large explosions and blazing flames flicker on the screen, the visuals bursting into energy and life as more car pieces crash into each other, metal crushing beneath metal and sand being kicked up in large clouds as the tires tear across the sand. This escalates into a large sand tornado, with flashes of blue lightning contrasting against it's opposing colour of the oranges and reds of the sands and flames.

The exploitation of visuals and action are not the only thing that is exploited within this film, as the exploitation of women is used to grab the attention of the audience, such as the wives are first shown as wearing pure white silk-like clothing which is drenched to their skin, exploiting the nudity and sexualisation of women. The topic of exploiting women however is discussed and represented negatively within the film, presenting that women should not be used as objects and cannot be 'owned', which is the entire basis for the plot of the film as the wives is what Immortan Joe wants back. Despite presenting the exploitation of women as a negative aspect in film and society, this does not stop the film using the exploitation of nudity and sexualisation for gaining new audience members, which is could be seen as quite an ironic aspect of the film.

What is quite usual of exploitation cinema is that the narrative within the film is in fact actually very simple. The entire plot of the film is to drive as far away as possible as fast as possible from the citadel, to only return as fast as possible back to the Citadel. Despite how simple the plot is the exploitation of visuals and action does make the film very entertaining and thrilling to watch and in fact was successful at the box office.

No comments:

Post a Comment