I can say in all truthfulness that this is the ugliest film I have ever seen, totally lacking in any redemptive attributes, with the exception of a couple dance sequences; director Julia Ducournau’s (“Raw”) harrowing, bleak, frightening imagination plummets to its bottommost circle, besting Dante’s “Paradise Lost”; protagonist, “Alexia/Adrien” (androgynous, Agatha Rousselle) has a titanium (“Titane”) plate in her head as a result of a childhood traffic accident; at 32 she is a sexy, provocative motor show dancer, exhibitionist, serial killer, slaughtering anyone who makes sexual advances. Ducournau’s message is pellucid: a woman can be just as gruesome, maniacal as any man, killing with impunity and champion of moral turpitude; punching in the solar plexus the “male gaze”; grossly, Alexia’s only intimacy is with an automobile, who needs a man when you can have a car? Reminiscent of a man’s faithfulness to his vehicle far outweighing his capricious partnerships; unprotected, she becomes pregnant; yes, impossible to fathom, but horrifying, revolting shock informs every grisly, hideous scene: using a hairpin she punctures heads, hearts, intestines and herself; we watch as bodily fluids flow, at times, with pitiful force. Aware that her ruse is discovered, she disguises herself as “Adrien” a boy who went missing years ago; another appalling irrational leap: mutilates herself by breaking her nose, twice, in a public bathroom, shaving her head and taping her breasts and burgeoning stomach; pathetically, the father of the missing boy, despite major incongruities, welcomes this prodigal “son” to the hearth; actor Vicent Linden, is the delusional, demented, steroid junkie dad, protecting “Adrien” by training him as a firefighter. As the pregnancy progresses anatomical leakage is yucky, black fuel oil; and the deliverance? Instead of the newest Peugeot, is a disappointing hybrid.
“Titane” won the Palme d’Or in Cannes, 2021
See at your own risk……