Film Review – Titane

Titane (R)

Directed by: Julia Ducournau

Starring: Agathe Rousselle, Vincent Lindon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Are you ready to take this journey? Already notorious for apparent screening audience pass outs and walkouts, Titane comes shrouded in mystery and hype that suggests that only the most hardened cinema-goers can handle it.

Young Alexia (Adele Guigue) survives a car crash at a young age, but must now live with a metal plate in her head – and develops a strange affinity with motor vehicles.

Years later as an adult, she (now played by Agathe Rousselle) is a hyper sexualised dancer at a motor show, goes on a violent killing spree and has sex with car. Still with us?

On the run from the police, Alexia changes her appearance and passes herself as the grown up version of a missing boy, and is “reunited” with the father Vincent (Vincent Lindon), a fireman with his own set of deep seeded issues.

There is much more to the story and the development of the relationship between Alexia and Vincent, but seeing Titane with as little information as possible is the best way to view it.

It is a strange and strangely hypnotic experience that at times makes complete sense and then at others, challenges and baffles you.

Themes begin to emerge, but then plot elements seem to betray your hypothesis. Or perhaps this is supposed be about more than just one thing. I am hesitant to even list my own theories so as not to persuade the reading of others.

And yet, none of this feels like sloppy storytelling, because writer/director Julia Ducournau has such a firm grip on her ambitious story. She knows exactly what she is doing and saying – it is up to us to get on her level. This isa level of confidence in film making that is so rare, and it is thrilling to witness.

Titane begs to be watched more than once. Not only to confirm our theories are solid, or to be open to the possibility that we missed something on the the first viewing, but even just to make sure this is a real film that exists and not just a bizarre dream.

Ducournau’s follow up to her brilliant Raw is a provocative, bewildering and possibly for some, downright frustrating experience. But even if you cannot get on this film’s wavelength, one thing is absolutely certain: you have never seen anything like this. And for that it is a horrifyingly refreshing experience.

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