Mad Max: Fury Road is an action/science-fiction film directed by George Miller and released in 2015. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won six, including Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Production Design. It is the fourth installment of the Mad Max franchise, in which it is the highest grossing film of the series, making over 300 million dollars at the box office.
Set in a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland, the plot revolves around Max, played by Tom Hardy, and Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, as they aid a group of enslaved women in escaping from the warlord, Immortan Joe. The five enslaved women are kept by Immortan Joe as wives and forced to have his children. Furiosa secretly smuggles the women out of the Citadel controlled by Immortan Joe, who discovers them missing and sends a party of violent War Boys to capture them. Max is at first used as a “blood bag” to give blood transfusions to a sick War Boy, Nux. The two men come across the group of women and Max reluctantly helps them. Nux however wants to return them to Immortan Joe, so the women toss him out of the truck.
Furiosa reveals to Max that she is taking the women to where she was born, a habitation called the Green Place, in which plants can grow. Immortan Joe and his forces chase the group across miles of desert and swampland. This obsessive need to recapture the women results in the accidental death of Immortan Joe’s favorite wife, Angharad, who is heavily pregnant. The group continues on and is rejoined by Nux, who has had a change of heart, and wishes to help them. They eventually come across a group of older women, called the Vuvalini, who know Furiosa. These women tell the group that the swamp that they passed was the Green Place and that it had been poisoned. Feeling that their plan has failed, they decide to drive for as long as they can across the salt flats. Max convinces them to return to the Citadel and kill Immortan Joe and his supporters. A bloody chase ensues and they are able to kill him and most of his forces. Their victory comes at a heavy price as most of the Vuvalini are killed, Nux sacrifices himself, and Furiosa is stabbed. Max performs a blood transfusion to save her life. They return to the Citadel and presumably free the other slaves.
Themes of Mad Max: Fury Road includes survival, control, autonomy, and home. All of the characters are trying to survive in desert wasteland where resources are difficult to obtain and death is a constant threat. Immortan Joe’s need to control the resources and people of the Citadel causes the main conflict of the film. Many of the characters, especially the enslaved women, seek autonomy and control over their lives, bodies, and children. Max symbolically regains control and his autonomy when he chooses to perform a blood transfusion on Furiosa even though he was forced to give blood to War Boys at the beginning of the film. Many of the characters were sold or kidnapped and thus had no home or place to belong. The main plot revolves around Furiosa and the wives finding a new home away from slavery and exploitation.