Katherine analyses the critically acclaimed French follow up to 2016’s Raw, with director Julia Ducournau going wild.
This film was so refreshing; consistently surprising and ultimately satisfying. Julia Ducournau has somehow hit a perfect balance between thriller and drama, navigating a difficult tonal shift tied together with some metal as fuck body horror.
After a car crash leaves her with a titanium plate in her head as a child, Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) grows up to be rather more fond of cars than most would be, and rather disturbed. Agathe gives an excellent performance as Alexia, and although she says very little, her acting is so compelling that despite her actions, I was rooting for her throughout.
The film was not particularly easy to understand, or describe, but easy to follow and read, which doesn’t make much sense, but works well for a horror. After winning the Palme D’Or, I was quite ready to like it but be mildly disappointed, however the film was totally gripping and I can’t easily compare it to anything else I have seen on the basis of anything other than the body horror. Now, if you aren’t a fan of gore, this film may not be for you. I felt compelled to look away at points but the sound editing was outstanding, so whatever your tolerances, it will stimulate your senses in some capacity.
The film impacted on me: I thought about and discussed it for days after. I consider it a nice companion piece to Matrix: Resurrections, a film in which the theme of gender and dysphoria is more overt in many ways, but there are several potential readings and parallel themes to be found in Titane: trauma, companionship, family, change, and acceptance. Either way, I think you can get what you are hoping for out of it, something meaningful and substantial. In watching Titane, your expectations and the film itself are constantly torn apart and pieced together again as something new and mesmerizing; difficult to look at, yes, but well worth it for a film that will stick with you.