by George Wolf
I’m just going to go with the official synopsis:
“Following a string of unexplained murders in France, a father is reunited with the son who has been missing for ten years.”
Fine, done, because knowing anything more about Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’Or-winning Titane could steal some of the mesmerizing, can’t-look-away, what-is-happening spell it inflicts on you.
Ducournau’s 2016 feature debut Raw shocked audiences with a brutally in-your-face metaphor mixing primal appetites and familiar bonds. She ups all the antes available with Titane, claiming her film is “its own wild animal” like a mad doctor unleashing her creation on an unsuspecting city of fools.
The film is alive with alternating color palettes, pulsating sounds and endless shocks of body horrific visuals. The sudden bursts of violence are downright pedestrian alongside the parade of boldly squirm-inducing clashes of flesh, bone and other.
But as she did with Raw, Ducournau finds humanity clawing out from the inhumane. Truly unforgettable performances from Vincent Lindon and Agathe Russell provide intimate examples of the extremes that even the most damaged souls are capable of in the search to care and be cared for.
It may not be shy about homages and influences, but Titane is indeed its own ferocious animal. Open the cage look the F out.