Raw

Raw ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Had to catch up with this on time for Titane this weekend! Ducournau's debut is not for the squeamish, a coming of age story (of sorts) tracking twin awakenings of sexuality and cannibalism in a young woman. Justine (Garance Marillier) is a new arrival at a veterinarian school that seems closer to a fun house mirror depiction of a fraternity. The brutal hazing process of the first week holds an especially difficult problem for her: the "recruits" are expected to eat a raw rabbit liver and Justine is a strict vegetarian. After some peer pressure from her older sister (also a student) she reluctantly agrees and unknowingly awakens an insatiable thirst for flesh.

Every couple of scenes from there to the film's conclusion is some form of shocking step forward in this transformation, each one escalating the film in nauseating fashion. There are several scenes in here that really burn themselves into your brain and dare you to look away for minutes at a time. It's not empty provocation but I do think the point is made pretty quickly and it doesn't continue to expand in the way I hoped it might. Eventually it gets exhausting despite a brisk runtime, the stylized cinematography, and a terrific lead performance. I am more interested than ever in Titane though and really looking forward to checking that out.