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[Cannes ’21] ‘Titane’ review: Sexy and gory thriller is unlike anything at Cannes

She wants a bigger turbo.

Titane will end up going down as one of the wildest rides of the Cannes Film Festival – and probably of the entire year. Director Julia Ducournau’s sexy follow up to 2016’s Raw is about a woman named Alexia. She is fitted with a titanium plate in her head after a childhood car accident. This changes her life in unexpected ways. For starters, she is more interested in cars than she ever would have believed. She is also a serial killer.

The film constantly shocks the audience. When a woman having sex with a car is one of the least astonishing moments of a movie, the audience knows they have seen something out of the ordinary. While it would be unfair to say Titane is constantly topping itself, it is not a stretch it keeps people watching off guard. This is not a movie that rewrites the rulebook; it refuses to believe any existed.

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[Cannes '21] 'Titane' review: Sexy and gory thriller is unlike anything at Cannes

Titane is outrageous to say the least, but it deals with very relatable themes. Family and togetherness are a major part of the story. From Alexia’s life changing car accident to her new life as a firefighter’s son (?), finding someone to help you through life is revisited often. Make no mistake about it, this is a horror movie – and a sickeningly bloody one at that. The first half hour alone may be too much for many to handle. Titane is an unharnessed mix of lust and blood that will have even the most hardened audiences begging for a reprieve. It may visit some heady topics, but it owes a debt to old school exploitation cinema.

Everything culminates in an unforgettable final scene. The last image is powerful enough by itself, but the film as a whole will remain with audiences. As the final credits roll, people will leave with mixed emotions. Titane is intentionally vague, daring those who watch to come to their own conclusions or to take it for what it offers. It is a risky decision that further adds to the unbridled impact of the whole experience.


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