The Mad Max world is even wilder than the wild wild west. It’s not just a typical fight for survival; it’s a ruthless, cutthroat, war-torn, love-starved, and humanity-deprived world. George Miller delivers a gripping narrative in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, the precursor to Mad Max: Fury Road. Starring Anna Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth, this cinematic thriller is a spectacle in IMAX, much like its predecessor.

We are taken back to the early life of Furiosa (played by Alayla Browne), a young inquisitive girl abducted by Dementus' (Hemsworth) army. As the young Furiosa witnesses her mother being taken by Dementus' violent gang, she harbors a fierce anger, which unfolds in a chilling manner towards the end of the film - the details of which must be discovered by watching the film. For now, it's crucial to understand that in a world where cinematic features contend with streaming services, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga justifies the investment of time, money, and the departure from the comfort of your Netflix haven to immerse in the gratifyingly brutal and worthwhile experience of this Miller production.

It's not without reason that the film garnered a prolonged and resounding standing ovation at Cannes. Taylor-Joy brings a compelling intensity to Furiosa. While many origin stories in the Marvel universe fall short, Miller fills the void with Browne and Taylor-Joy, who each command a significant portion of the film. In the role of Dementus, Hemsworth departs from the affable, dashing hero archetype. Portraying Dementus, he emerges as Thor's sinister counterpart, with disheveled hair and a heart irreversibly tainted by evil.

Delving into themes of war, peace, dwindling resources, and humanity’s inherent inclination towards violence, crime, and avarice, Furiosa is less action-packed than Fury Road but equally gripping. With limbs flying and primal human fears explored, Miller's storytelling is worthy of acclaim. Taylor-Joy effortlessly navigates gravity-defying stunts, while Miller adeptly utilizes her expressive eyes to the fullest.

Centering a violent narrative around women is a skill few filmmakers have mastered, yet Miller comes remarkably close. In a particular scene, Taylor-Joy rides her bike along the sunset on a sand dune's crest. It's a breathtaking moment, not only due to the harmonious blend of the soundtrack, cinematography, and her triumph in one battle (if not the war), but also because it reinforces women's capability to transcend the conventional damsel in distress role.

“Make yourself valuable,” a young Furiosa is counseled, “and Dementus will take care of you.” Furiosa remains steadfast. Refusing to submit to a benevolent dictator, she forges her own path. She asserts her independence. It is truly gratifying (pun unintended) to witness women achieving this feat so magnificently.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is currently showing in UAE theaters. You would be remiss to wait for its small-screen release, as it is unfitting for a visually stunning tale as this.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Director: George Miller

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Anya Taylor-Joy

Rating: 4.5/5