Despite the shocking nature of Titane’s body horror, what lingers with you on viewing are the tender moments, the value of human compassion and the overwhelming sense that it is a tale of love and of family. An ode to Cronenberg's Crash (1996) it may be, yet Titane takes the strange premise that there is a connection between sexuality and cars, and crafts it into a work that explores an extreme form of love without words. Ducournau asks: how far are we willing to go to achieve a meaningful (familial) connection, to love somebody, and where might this kind of love take us? We learn of Alexia/Adrien’s daddy issues early on, and see the character start to deal with them as she learns to bond with Vincent in a fatherly way, as opposed to dealing with her trauma through sex and violence. Vincent, on the other hand, uses Alexia/Adrien to fill the gap left by his missing son, beginning to resolve an issue he had never been able to get over (interestingly set up against the cold attitude of his estranged wife). They bond through increasingly tender moments of intimacy, and through a shared love for dancing, culminating at the climax of the piece - in a finale Ducournau curiously describes as ‘a very happy ending’, though I would personally describe it as biblical, and a little insane.
'Raw is gross and disgusting, but it is also an important story about acceptance, about what makes us normal, and about our relationship with what we eat. Though the very idea of the film is sickening, disgust is central to the point it wants to make.'