Empire (Australasia) - - ON SCREEN -

BE­FORE WE EVEN meet Im­per­a­tor Fu­riosa, she’s made a sac­ri­fice. Leav­ing the Ci­tadel for a sup­ply run, she’s stowed away the Five Wives of tyrant Im­mor­tan Joe in her War Rig. As one of the Im­mor­tan’s most pow­er­ful war­riors, she has re­spect and safety. So when she chooses to save the Five Wives and flee with them to seek the mythic Green Place, she gives up ev­ery­thing for a dream.

Fu­riosa’s hero­ism isn’t en­tirely self­less, at least at first: part of her ini­tial mo­ti­va­tion is re­venge. She’s driven by anger at be­ing stolen from a utopia and a de­sire to re­turn home; all of this ar­tic­u­lated in the two words she ut­ters to the Im­mor­tan just be­fore she kills him: “Re­mem­ber me?” She’s dev­as­tated to find that the Green Place is no more, but she over­comes her grief and despair to find a new way for­ward. Though she can never re­turn, she can fix what’s bro­ken. Fu­riosa keeps fight­ing no mat­ter what, even when she’s an­guished, crit­i­cally wounded, on the verge of death. She’s Joan of Arc, an avatar of fem­i­nine anger and right­eous­ness, a post-apoc­a­lyp­tic Odysseus.

Part of her power, and what makes her so unique, is that Fu­riosa’s courage makes room for those who join her. Hav­ing launched a re­bel­lion, her tenac­ity en­cour­ages the heroic acts of oth­ers, even those who didn’t know they had it in them. She awak­ens some­thing in Nux, who was al­ways will­ing to die for a cause; just not the right one. Through Fu­riosa, he is in­spired to make his own sac­ri­fice to save her and her free­dom­fight­ers, the only peo­ple who ever showed him com­pas­sion in his short, doomed half-life. And she helps a feral Max re­mem­ber who he is, re­dis­cov­er­ing his sense of self and the hero he once was.

But Fu­riosa has a higher pur­pose. She earned her sta­tus by par­tic­i­pat­ing in a cruel sys­tem, by serv­ing a tyrant. Her jour­ney is about re­demp­tion. And her quest be­comes much more than a sim­ple es­cape — it’s a mis­sion to de­stroy the sta­tus quo and re­build so­ci­ety. The end of Fury Road sees her as­cen­sion — both lit­er­ally to the top of the Ci­tadel, and fig­u­ra­tively. She over­sees the fall of a fas­cist, and the rise of a more egal­i­tar­ian, self­less so­ci­ety.

She’s a lib­er­a­tor, a pro­tec­tor, a rev­o­lu­tion­ary. Max

Rock­atan­sky has al­ways been the guardian of the Waste­land, but

Fu­riosa is its saviour. PRISCILLA PAGE

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