Charlize Theron’s character in Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa, is a badass. Actually, saying that is akin to saying water is wet. It seems so obvious that you almost feel silly pointing it out. She isn’t just a badass, she’s one of the strongest, most incredible female characters in cinematic history, and that goes beyond just action movies. However, recognizing she is a badass is a little different from articulating why she is, which is why this short video essay about our favorite Imperator is a great look at what makes her so worthy of praise.
Made by Kiva Reardon as part of her “Beyond Badass: Female Action Heroes” series for Tiff.40, she explains that Furiosa’s greatness lies in her complete lack of a back story. “In many actions movies, but especially ones with female stars, there’s a big deal made about transformation, how they came to be so tough and so strong and all that kind of stuff, whereas with Furiosa it’s just a given, it’s just expected that this women would be strong,” said Reardon.
Besides just “being” a badass, Furiosa is also a “real developed character who sustains and carries the narrative forward.” For a movie that was fully expected to be a story about Max, it turned out to be a story about a high-ranking female leader who leads the liberation of a group of women from a patriarchal slave owner, all while building an alliance with a man who recognizes her superiority at certain things. Best of all, none of this is a big deal.
Furiosa is a badass, and it’s obvious to say that, but why it’s so obvious is a product of a script that understands that being a powerful female action hero doesn’t require some absurd explanation or huge suspension of disbelief. All it takes is recognizing that a character like that can exist, and when you treat the character and your audience with respect you get something special like Fury Road.
What do you think makes Furiosa such a badass? Tell us in the comments below.
Image: Warner Brothers