Furiosa: George Miller ignites the Cannes Film Festival with the splendid prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road

Furiosa: George Miller ignites the Cannes Film Festival with the splendid prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road
Furiosa: George Miller ignites the Cannes Film Festival with the splendid prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road

We must first mourn and announce to those who will come looking for Furiosa a complement to the mechanical intoxication of Fury Road, that they risk being destabilized, and probably even disappointed. As he has already done in the past, one could even think that George Miller is taking the imagination he forged against the grain: the cartoonish grace of Fury Road gives way to a fresco spread over more than a decade, cut into chapters; the straight line journey here turns out to be more angular and more tortuous. The bad guys of Fury Roadnotably the giant beast Rictus, no longer appear simply as turbulent, destructive and radicalized children, obsessed with their entry into Valhalla (by sacrificing themselves with, if possible, a little panache and big explosions), but real brutes bloodthirsty, determined to conquer everything, to alienate, crush or possess everything that is not part of their gang.

By extending his story over nearly two and a half hours, George Miller gives himself room for more ambiguities but also for a more diffuse darkness. It is expressed less through the fury of montage or formal feats of force but through silences, through a succession of tragic elements which, all assembled, allow us to glimpse the long journey of its heroine towards an irreversible hatred of respect for a population of men and their despots. It’s as if all the motifs and characters of Fury Road had already taken place, from Immortan Joe to Gas Town, but an irreversible shift was playing out before our eyes: the last moments when the idea of ​​madness still makes sense and some people try to extricate themselves from a hell that will eventually swallow us all.

Even if the film does not produce the same feeling of amazement, and turns out to be a little laborious or unsightly in places (some special effects are not up to par for a $165 million blockbuster), it wins, like from George Miller’s previous feature film released in 2022 Three thousand years waiting for you, over time, provided that the spectator lets it infuse in his mind. It is then impossible, several days later, not to remember the ardent look of Anya Taylor-Joy, who manages to take over – until then unimaginable – from Charlize Theron, perfect as the rider of the Apocalypse.

Then we also say to ourselves that it is undoubtedly the best idea that the 79-year-old director has had not to want to reproduce, shot for shot, one of the few monuments which make up his filmography and which we will still talk about in several decades, even if cinema was also to experience a twilight. Furiosa, a story of an emancipation full of thorns and dead ends, embodies precisely what it means to be an artist in Hollywood today: a constant struggle, painful and furious, against indolence and the silence that the powerful produce. As disorienting, decidedly bizarre and inconvenient as it is, George Miller’s film remains an act of cinema of incredible singularity that deserves nothing from me but celebration.

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