Agathe Rousselle in Titane (2021)
Courtesy of Neon
Titane is the 2021 French-language body-horror feature film written and directed by filmmaker Julia Ducournau (Raw). The film follows the journey of a mentally disturbed woman, Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), who is sexually attracted to cars. 

Intense. We meet Alexia with the use of a stunning tracking shot — into the club wearing regular clothes to twerking on top of the car at the car show. That scene is the perfect way to introduce Alexia as an utter force to be reckoned with — in a way giving audiences a taste. Titane is an acquired one — you will either love or hate this movie. The first thirty minutes is an audacious display of sex and violence. In a similar vein as Raw, this film is sure to shock audiences with perverse visual imagery. I certainly will have trouble looking at a car the same way again.

Finding family where you can in the worst way. The senseless violence from the protagonist, the car stuff. What a ride — one which takes an unexpected turn into the strangely sentimental. This tonal shift and change in pacing send Titane from the fast-paced perverse thriller into exploring themes about family and love. Once Alexia meets Vincent (Vincent Lindon), the majority of the action slows down. Vincent assumes the proverbial driver's seat on-screen with charisma and screentime. By the end of Titane,  we never get any closer to understanding Alexia, the opposite is true about Vincent. Titane delves into lurid directions in the relatively short runtime, which felt much longer in retrospect. So much to unpack — the subtext of the various topics like identity, trauma, rebirth, and death is right there on the periphery and is sure to ignite the viewer interpretations after the film has ended.

Vincent Lindon in Titane (2021)

Stunning. The cinematography is executed wonderfully by the same director of photography as Raw (Ruben Impens). The harsh cool tones dancing in the spotlight in the beginning to gentle pink hues at the end, the mise-en-scene is really on point. Titane won the 2021 Cannes Palme d'Or. In my opinion, Ducournau is a cut above the rest and comes to mind whenever someone mentions filmmakers to keep an eye on; Julia Ducournau sits comfortably next to such names as Robert Eggers, Ari Aster, Jordan Peele, the Safdie brothers.

Unaffected: Agathe Rousselle’s delivery works in a way to make the Alexia character entirely unsympathetic and unpredictable. We have the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to Vincent —the level of desperation and heartache in his performance is transfixing, poignant, and a highlight in the movie.

Recommended for fans of transgressive cinema.

Watch Titane Now