Watching the Academy Awards recently, I was perplexed. I saw countless trailers as each nomination for Mad Max appeared before my inexperienced eyes. What was so great about this movie? So many awards, I guess I needed to find out.
The next weekend, as I wrapped myself in fuzzy blankets, a bowl of popcorn (Kettle, duh), and a strong man to cuddle into when things got gory, I prepared to watch the movie that stole all the idolized golden men.
I honestly wasn’t excited. It seemed like another teenage boy flick that condoned violence, sex, and the fight for power. Beginning to end, my eyes progressed from unamused scrutiny to a wide-eyed, mouth-open stare.
The movie is an illustration of constant hot pursuit. Mad Max escapes the Citadel (the hub for the only water source in the area) to which Immortan Joe is king. He partners up in a war vehicle equipped with the Citadels source of income (water) with a high powered female named Furiosa. Furiosa’s reason for straying off course is in hopes to free Immortan Joe’s six sex slaves. Battling alliance clans, monstrous sand storms, and aided with deadly weapons, their trip takes a an unexpected turn.
Mad Max won Best Achievement in Film Editing, Costume Design, Production Design, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, as well as Makeup and Hairstyling. These awards were the only reason I decided to watch the film, and to my amazement, seemed to exhibited decent relevancy.
I cringed at each metal clank, clang, and boom during the acts of war. I awed at the creative deranged look of each character. Each segment of film wasn’t too quick or too drawn out.There was validity.
Yet, still the fact remains: why was this movie popular? According to the Motion Picture Association of America, in almost every year up to 2014, the age group of 25-39 year olds (both sexes) dominated the average attendance of the movies in the US. 18-24 year olds came a close second. It makes sense that producers would cater to these demographics. Since the US promotes violence, sex appeal, and greed in their media as well as in political leaders it makes sense that this movie would thrive.
What surprised me was not the execution of the film, but the focus on women empowerment. The supporting lead protagonist was a woman. The plot was to give freedom to the six female sex slaves. The ultimate destination was run by female leaders. And the overall end goal was to return futility to the world. Needless to say, I was impressed with the results.
This plot was brilliant. The producers funded a movie that cradled the anguish and fury men lavish over, while simultaneously concocting a film that celebrates the power, the superior intuitive nature, and the tenacity of women. That was the reason for the 6 gleaming Academy golden trophies who happen to be named “Oscar.”