George Miller sets Cannes on fire with 'Furiosa': an epic of revenge in a world in chaos

'Furiosa', the fifth installment of the successful Mad Max franchise that George Miller started in 1979 with Mel Gibson as the apocalyptic hero, has set the Croisette on fire out of competition with the presence of the veteran Australian director and actors Chris Hemsworth and Anja Taylor.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 May 2024 Wednesday 16:33
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George Miller sets Cannes on fire with 'Furiosa': an epic of revenge in a world in chaos

'Furiosa', the fifth installment of the successful Mad Max franchise that George Miller started in 1979 with Mel Gibson as the apocalyptic hero, has set the Croisette on fire out of competition with the presence of the veteran Australian director and actors Chris Hemsworth and Anja Taylor. Joy. Both star in a film that was completed “two and a half weeks ago,” Miller said at a press conference about a story bathed in dust and blood that tells the past of Furiosa, the warrior we met with the face of Charlize Theron. in Fury Road (2015) and which now has the presence of Taylor-Joy, a British-American actress who rose to fame with the Queen's Gambit series.

At yesterday's gala screening at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, this visually stunning prequel received a seven-minute ovation. “It has been very exciting to experience the film through the audience's reaction and see it as another spectator,” said the interpreter, who is fantastic in the role of a tireless survivor equipped with expressive blue eyes that say it all and who seeks his moment of revenge.

A character that has required great physical demands to do the most complicated scenes and for which she had the help of specialist Hayley Wright. ”She is now one of my best friends. Instead of being an environment of aggression, she told me: 'I love you, I believe in you, you will be able to do it.'"

Taylor-Joy, who has Spanish and Argentine roots, has praised the incredible team of craftsmen behind this pure action film that will hit theaters on May 24. “People came out of retirement to work with George,” she said. And then Miller jokingly added: “I came out of retirement to work on this film.”

Furiosa, which portrays a world battered by economic and political interests - with wars to dominate control of water and oil and people living in misery - has received quite positive reviews after its appearance at the Cannes festival, the commercial bet of This 77th edition, although the shadow of its predecessor, which won six technical Oscar awards, is very long.

The character of Furiosa, who lives in a land of plenty, is kidnapped as a child by the men of Dementus, a villain played by a Hemsworth as muscular as Thor but with a limited mentality who drives a Roman chariot pulled by motorcycles. In fact, she always carries a teddy bear with her. A journalist described him as a mix of Darth Vader and Looney Tunes, to which the Australian responded with a knowing smile.

“For George and I, it was important to find the humanity in the character and add moments of vulnerability to understand that he had suffered a lot.” He adds that Dementus' actions respond to the struggle "to survive in a brutal space" and highlights the touches of humor, absent in the previous Mad Max films. ”I have enjoyed every second of this experience.” His wife, the Spanish Elsa Pataky, reserves a cameo as one of the strong women who guard the seeds in the protagonist's town.

Miller recalled that the first installment of the saga failed in the United States and that it had a mixture of English accents that the director did not like at all. That's why he's pleased with Furiosa, with a cast in which everyone has tried to achieve an Australian accent. "I remember that when we arrived in the United States to present the first film, they asked us if we were Austrians, because they didn't understand our English," he confessed with amusement. And he has emphasized that the franchise has evolved over time, because cinema evolves and gives you new tools. ”If you dedicate yourself to repeating what you have already done, there is no desire to do anything else. As a director I have always let myself be carried away by curiosity." Will there be more Mad Max in the future? Miller does not rule it out: "There are more stories from this universe."