Body horror film with an unexpected soft core
Titanium, or the titanium in the title, refers to the metal plate installed in Alexia’s head after a car accident. Director Julia Ducournau wastes no time on the tragedy. There’s blood splattered on the back window. We see Alexia in surgery and then recovering. Watch out for unusual behavior, warns the neurosurgeon to Alexia’s parents.
Once recovered and released from the hospital, Alexia’s most intimate reunion is not with her parents, but with their car.
Years later, Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) is an exotic dancer performing at a car show. Forced to flee after a series of events, Alexia reinvents herself by inflicting unimaginable pain on her body. This puts her in contact with firefighter Vincent (Vincent Lindon).
Vincent’s emotional state is fragile, in denial of a painful truth or consciously ignoring it to fill the chasm of his life. In turn, Alexia experiences multiple changes and new feelings. The progression of their bond, fueled by the performances of Lindon and Rouselle, is the beating heart of the film. In few words, they express the depth of their pain. Music and dance offer them moments of respite.
TitaniumThe infamous sex scene takes place at the start of the 109-minute film, but it’s not what comes to mind after the end credits. You take away thoughts of family drama, the business of life at hand, and how love – of all kinds – can be found in the most unexpected places.
The French language Titanium, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2021, was released on MUBI. Ducournau, who has already directed Raw, take the road less is more. She chooses to be sketchy, outrageous and provocative while exploring relevant themes, from found families to body horror and sexuality to modern fable. Just go along with the unexpected and non-judgmental but sometimes shocking and often bloody ride that is Titanium.