Furiosa of Oz

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(Please note: I’m not the only one to notice the parallels, but my interpretation is slightly different, so I’m not going to post a bunch of links.)

The Wizard Of Oz goes like this:

– A girl gets taken as a child, by force. (in this case by a tornado)
– In her new environment, she ends up with a reputation as a respected killer. (in this case as soon as she arrives)
– She wants to go home more than anything in the world.
– To go home, she has to find a wise elder in a green city.
– She sets out on a dangerous journey.
– She finds and brings along a) a character who seems week and cowardly but actually shows a great deal of courage when the going gets tough b) a guy whose entire concept is “I’m so broken I can’t feel any emotions” and then cries later c) a guy whose entire job is to be scary (in this case scaring crows) but is childlike, who technically has no brain but can problem solve pretty well in a crisis, and who is literally falling apart. (I know I got the order backwards, but there’s a reason.)
– The wise elder at Emerald City can’t take her home or solve any of their problems.
– They can either give up or go West to fight the villain.
– The girl kills the villain. Her friends prove themselves to have the very qualities they seemed to lack.
– Instead of turning on her, the villain’s people are thankful for what the girl has done.
– She had the power in her all along.

SPOILERS AHEAD…
Mad Max: Fury Road goes like this:

– A girl gets taken as a child, by force. (in this case by kidnappers)
– In her new environment, she ends up with a reputation as a respected killer. (in this case it likely took years, but the audience doesn’t get that information)
– She wants to go home more than anything in the world.
– To go home, she has to find the wise elders of the Green Place.
– She sets out on a dangerous journey.
– She finds and brings along a) a group of characters who are supposed to be weak but show a great deal of courage when the going gets tough, b) a guy whose role is “I’m so broken I can’t hope anymore” and then “Oh, by the way, here’s some hope.” c) a guy whose entire job is to be scary, (in this case a warrior painted up vaguely like a skull) but is childlike, who has been brainwashed for years but can problem solve pretty well in a crisis, and who is falling apart. (in the sense of dying)
– The wise elders can’t get the girl home (home no longer exists) or solve any of their problems.
– They can either give up or go back West to fight the villain.
– The girl kills the villain. Her allies prove themselves to have the very qualities they seemed to lack.
– She had the power in her all along. (in this case, she might have been able to start a revolution from within Citadel, but that’s debatable)
– All of this takes place in Australia, which is often nicknamed ___
It’s not a perfect match by any stretch, and I don’t think George Miller meant anything by it other than wanting to tell a good story. Lots of stories match up to one another just because. Also, if it were a perfect match Fury Road wouldn’t be able to stand up on its own without the first film being a prerequisite. Then again, if you’re under age 90 and you haven’t seen The Wizard Of Oz, that’s a problem you’ll need to fix.

mad-max-fury-road-inspired-art-thumb

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2 thoughts on “Furiosa of Oz

    moteridgerider said:
    June 14, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Thorough treatment there, Erin. Don’t they say that all plot lines eventually resolve themselves to one of 8 basic tropes?

      Erin Sneath responded:
      June 14, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Yeah, I had heard that too. There’s got to be some science behind why we respond so well to those core story types, from an entertainment/emotional standpoint, but also from learning standpoint. People remember details better and think about them if they’re conveyed in story form.

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