Explainers

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, Explained

June 19, 2015
6 min read

Now that you all have watched ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and enjoyed it, let’s get back to answering some of your doubts — which I know many of you have. If you read my review, you already know what were the underlying themes and message in the film, but this article is solely devoted to clarifying the plot and questions related to the plot that you may have. And if this and this are any proof, you know we are really good at explaining movies.

The plot, in short

In the aftermath of a World War over gasoline, little civilization is left on earth. A tyrant ruler named Immortan Joe rules over the majority of population left from a fortress called as “The Citadel”. By controlling the water supply, he controls and reigns over the population. He also has his own army of sick people known as “War Boys”, who fight, and also fetch necessary resources for him. These War Boys capture Max, a drifter who doesn’t want to be under anyone’s rule, and make him a prisoner. At the same time, Joe’s commander named Imperator Furiosa is preparing to lead a party of War Boys to retrieve fuel from “Gas Town,” a nearby refinery that Joe controls.

However, Furiosa, behind the wheel of a War Rig, has a hidden agenda up her sleeve. It turns out she’s smuggled five women out of the city inside her truck. They’re Joe’s prized “possessions,” sex slaves he uses to father his children. When Joe realizes what Furiosa has done, he dispatches his entire army in pursuit of her. Meanwhile, Max frees himself of the clutches of War Boys, and ends up helping Furiosa in her quest to return to her origins — or what she refers to as “green place” — and simultaneously free the wives out of the clutches of miserable Joe. Though, later after realizing that the “green place” is not green anymore, they hatch a plan to return to “The Citadel” and take over the empire.

The main characters. Who are they?

Mad Max charactersImmortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne): He is the twisted and psychotic ruler of the ‘Citadel’. He rules the wasteland because he controls the last of the area’s resources, mainly, fresh water. He is at an advanced age and has become increasingly sick and weak. He is desperate to father a child to be his worthy successor as all his previous attempts have left something to be desired. He has taken some of the most beautiful women in the wasteland as his “brides” in order to father more children.

Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron): She is a commander of the Citadel under the leadership of Immortan Joe. She was kidnapped from her home as a child and raised as a warrior. She never forgot her roots and decided to rescue Immortan Joe’s “wives” and take them back to her homeland known as “The Green Place”.

Nux (Nicholas Hoult): He is one of Immortan Joe’s “War Boys” He is very eager to prove himself and die for Immortan Joe so he can “Live, die and live again” as he was raised to believe.

Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy): He is a former police officer turned drifter. The film doesn’t clearly explain Max Rockatansky’s origin other than brief flashes of his presumed daughter being killed. However, in the original Mad Max, he was the top driver of the Main Force Patrol (aka ‘The Bronze’), a national police force attempting to preserve order on Australia’s highways as civilization begins to crumble.

The Wives: Toast The Knowing (Zoë Kravitz), The Splendid Angharad (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), Capable (Riley Keough), The Dag (Abbey Lee) and Cheedo The Fragile (Courtney Eaton) are Immortan Joe’s “wives” who are among the most beautiful women in the wasteland. Therefore are held captive by Immortan Joe and forced to bear his children.

Who are war boys?

War Boys

War Boys are a group of Kamikaze soldiers (which they refer to as “Kami-Crazy”) fighting for Immortan Joe. Their job is to go out and hunt for people and supplies, as well as shepherd oil and ammunition from Joe’s outlying facilities. These guys have a cultish devotion to Joe, and view him as nothing short of a god. They also believe that by dying for Immortan Joe, they will be entering Valhalla, an afterlife populated by those who die in a battle. But as much they are not afraid to die, War Boys are also suffering from terminal illnesses brought on by life in a toxic wasteland.

Why do war boys keep Max live & take him to the mission?

As mentioned before, War Boys are suffering from a kind of terminal illness and they need blood transfusions to remain alive. Nux, who is weakened due to his illness, takes a captured Max to be his “blood bag” so that he can transfuse Max’s blood whenever such a need arises.

What happened to “the Green Place”?

It is assumed that “the Green Place”, which happened to be Furiosa’s homeland when she was a child, has over years dried due to shortage of water. The greenery now has turned into sand-filled land. The protectors of this land are a few of the native women, (who Furiosa knew from childhood) who have somehow managed to save themselves from the tyrant rulers using clever battle techniques.

What happens in the end? Why does Max leave?

When the population and War Boys see Immortan Joe’s corpse, they realize that he is not a god. Furiosa, having already been an authority figure in the Citadel, apparently becomes the new ruler.

Max is a wanderer. A loner. A drifter. He doesn’t want to be under anybody’s rule and neither does he want to rule anyone. He returns back to his free, wandering life.

And finally,

What’s up with that Guitar Player?

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-flame-guitar

As per the director, George Miller, there is a logic behind carrying a musical band, including the guitar player, in the battle. In the older days, there used to be a war-horn or war-bugle signifying the commencement or end of a war. The musical band, in a post-apocalyptic world, served the same purpose. But more importantly, if you would have noticed, later in the film, the guitar player is used as a weapon so as to try to kill Max. So, in a way, the guitar player is a secret weapon of Joe’s army.

Read More: Best Action Movies of All Time

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