Dir. Julia Ducournau
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Julia Ducournau's RAW was a fantastic cannibal coming of age drama that blended horror and drama to brilliant effect. The French director carved her name as one of the directors to watch with a debut that most film-makers would die for. TITANE is her follow-up and like the second album dilemma, can it live up to the hype?
In short, yes!
TITANE sees Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), a car accident survivor, indulge in the world of car modelling as she tries to find her own sexuality. In doing so, she unwittingly becomes pregnant... by a car.
No... Michael Bay has not created an 18 rated TRANSFORMERS movie and neither has Vin Diesel gone that far with the FAST & FURIOUS series. Quite contrary that a film with such a vivid plot point, the film is once a gain a subtle and real reflection of personal struggles. After the incident, Alexia is on the run and finds refuge as the missing son of a father, Vincent (Vincent Lindon) who unwittingly buys her disguise, it is from here that the true heart of the story lies as the bond between fugitive and grieving father becomes intwined in a world of madness.
Somewhere between ROSEMARY'S BABY meets TETSUO via CRASH, TITANE is not perhaps as wild as it sounds however it's a film that will bring you to tears and yet still shock you to the core. As with RAW, Ducournau's power to blend horror and drama is magnificent and hard hitting but so intwined that the two are never world's apart. There's even a piece of perfect continuity with RAW that fans will revel in. TITANE is a film best left knowing very little and one that rewards thanks to the two central leads and a superb level of detail from the special effects and make-up team. Every inch of pain from Alexia is visible and her development over the pregnancy is nothing short of believable that it's hard to believe that Rousselle wasn't pregnant in real life.
Accompanied by a pulsing French soundtrack of underground dance and pulsing machines, it's a match made well for a car enthusiast however I'd probably check the gearstick next time you get into the driving seat...
If Ducournau's first film was RAW, then this is a Smackdown and defies any expectation. It's violent, it's haunting, it's beautiful and like the title refers; TITANE: A metal highly resistant to heat and corrosion, with high tensile strength alloys; it shows a tale of strength through much conflict and in turn becomes a reflection of the world and people within it.