Titane – Review

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I believe that nowadays it is almost impossible to find original story ideas in films. If you come across a piece that looks original, there are two possibilities. First, it is what it is. Second, you haven’t watched the reference source. Originality is no longer a question of “purely new”, but how the creator of the work is able to process various inspirations to produce a fresh spectacle that is (as if) new.

So did the Titane. Inspired by her own dream, Julia Ducournau (Raw) combines elements of body horror from the films of David Cronenberg and Shinya Tsukamoto, with fetishism drama, especially Crash (1996) which also happens to be made by Cronenberg. The result? The film will be France’s entry at next year’s Academy Awards, as well as winning the Palme d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, making Ducournau the second female director after Jane Campion (1993 with The Piano) to win it. Top Movie Site

Writing his own script, Ducournau creates a wild story, not only because of the extreme moments in it, but also because of the plot that continues to develop in unexpected directions. Agatha Rousselle plays Alexia, a woman with a titanium plate on her head, whom she gets after a car accident with her father. Strangely, since then there has been intimacy between Alexia and the car. Even now he works as a dancer for car shows.

I can only name three things: 1) Alexia has a dark secret, 2) Alexia is pregnant after having sex with a car, 3) Alexia meets Vincent (Vincent Lindon), a firefighter who has lost his son for 10 years. The rest, please watch for yourself. Enjoy the wildness that Ducournau serves up without further ado.

If you are willing to be dizzy to see the ambiguity full of metaphors, then Titane has an addictive absurdity. It’s not about being able to solve it or not, but more about enjoying, giving up when being carried away by the puzzle.

Of course Titane is not strange origin. The strangeness has a meaning, where Ducournau touches on dysfunctional family issues, especially the rejection of the father figure for children, trauma, as well as gender identity. Choosing Rousselle was the right decision, because her character supports the director’s vision, in order to give the film a sense of gender fluidity. Movie Review

Both as a director and a scriptwriter, Ducournau cleverly cultivates elements of body horror. This one subgenre is synonymous with physical transformation, which is the main source of horror. The sequence in the station toilet is a place for Ducournau to show off the painful scenes typical of his subgenre. The sequence is quite unique, because compared to the majority of body horrors, the protagonist’s transformation is more raw. I call it “manual body horror”.

Later, Alexia’s transformation will develop further, not only in the physical realm, but also psychologically. From there, Ducournau talks about trauma, which drives individuals to be destructive, to lose their identity, before finally getting over it. Meeting with Vincent (who also went through a process of transformation of body and soul) became the turning point of Alexia’s journey. Slowly, from someone who “grabs” a lot, he learns how to save.

Titane unites two opposites, namely “dead” and “alive”. Humans (alive) having sex with cars (dead). Even throughout the story, the protagonist often intersects with death in his journey to make sense of life. The climax lies in the conclusion, when death is not described as the end, but the beginning of a new life. All thanks to love. Not always a wild spectacle full of violence, sexuality, and transgressive impressions, must eliminate hope. Best Movie

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