Female Protagonist For Next Mad Max Film?

Female driven, feminist, male oppression, gender oppression, the terms are endless. It is hard to imagine a film to have received as much debate and controversy as “Mad Max: Fury Road” has.  Even so, artistic value cemented the film in cinema history.  This achievement comes despite backlash from egocentric machismos. Let’s explore a brief summary of the franchise itself before analyzing the controversy.

The Franchise

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is the fourth entry  to a franchise that began in 1979.  The series is the work of Australian Producer, Writer and Director George Miller. The story  written between George Miller and Byron Kennedy occurs within a post-apocalyptic future. A nomadic, former policeman named, Max Rockatansky is the protagonist of the story.  His backstory is bleak, an account that merit introduction by  watching the films. Living in a “survival of the fittest” world does little to pacify his inner demons.  Max is often thrust into dire situations. Each film captures another segment of these life threatening scenarios. The circumstances although thought provoking compound his fragile yet rugged psyche.

Each installment featured Australian Actor Mel Gibson portray the titular character. From concept and presentation the first release was film ahead of its time. As its present day counter part, “Mad Max” transcended genres, a cinematic masterpiece.

Action packed, and high octane sums last year’s Action Sci-Fi, Adventure release. Before delving into the topic let’s take a moment to look at the prestigious awards  garnered by the film”Mad Max: Fury Road”. It had won The Nation Board of Review’s award for “Best film of 2015”. The Online Film Critics Society’s award for both “Best Director” and “Best picture”. This besides earning thirteen nominations with The Broadcast Film Critics Association. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts gave “Mad Max: Fury Road” seven nominations across various categories. The film was also nominated for The Golden Globe’s  “Best picture” and “Best Director”

“Fury Road” Incites Fury

DecayMag.com "Mad Max: Fury Road"

In “Fury Road” Actor Tom Hardy portrays the role of Max Rockantasky aka “Mad Max” in the latest release. Charlize Theron co-stars portraying Imperator Furiosa. Or is it the other way around? Is Hardy the co-star and Theron the lead? This is where the controversy begins. Although titled “Mad Max”,  the plot gives focus on both central characters.  At first glance its obvious Imperator Furiosa takes the lead with dialogue and action. While Max assists in resolving the dilemma using his primal survival skills.

Frustrations over the film stemmed from a blog article written by a furious moviegoer. The opinion of one influenced and steered the views of many. A call to petition the film ordered from online communities consisted of male chauvinists. Why would this group protest the dystopian driven feature film? To sum, the artistic delivered medium assaulted their masculine self esteem.

There are certain facts casual moviegoers are oblivious to. For instance Horror films provide narrative structures where female protagonists fight male abusers/oppressors. This is a staple in the genre. One that has existed for many years. The extreme violence is an artistic platform for the feminist movement to flourish. Horror provides an arena where women tackle issues from oppressive male dominant society.

In Sci-Fi, Sigourney Weaver  portrays the protagonist Ripley in the 1979 film “Alien”. Not only does the protagonist combat male driven obstacles and restrictions. She also fends a sexual assault from an intergalactic creature. The alien created by erotic, Horror, Fantasy artist H.R. Geiger

Female Driven Lead For Next “Mad Max”

Rumors are circulating on the next installment to “Mad Max”. Charlize Theron is believed to reprise her role as Imperator Furiosa.  A back story to  character proposed. According to Tom Hardy’s IMDB page “Mad Max: Wasteland” is an upcoming project. Its safe to assume both character driven actors will once again share screen time. Will Theron offer a dominant portray as she did with “Fury Road”? Most Likely. Will the egocentric male community be at an uproar again? Yes. To consider “Mad Max: Fury Road” a feminist film is not correct. Strong female leads is part of a long running concept strengehed by the horror genre. The concept of “damsel in distress, awaits knight in shining armor” is an archaic belief.


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