There were Golden Palm winners at the Cannes Film Festival who raised a lot of dust, but this year’s winner is Titanium, a French body-horror signed by Julia Ducourne, definitely surpassed in that regard. This author is only the second winner of this prestigious award in the history of the festival, and many comment that her work could be comfortably shown in the “midnight movies” section instead of being in competition for the main award. The film was chosen to represent France at the upcoming Oscars.
Titanium opens the scene of a car accident in which the girl Alexija was injured, so a titanium plate was installed in her head due to the severity of the injuries. A few years later, the girl is now a professional dancer known for her rather provocative dance moves she performs on the car. After one performance, she kills the man who asked for her autograph, and we clearly conclude from her actions that this is not her first time. Faced with criminal prosecution, she decides to drastically change her physical appearance and to present herself to firefighter Vincent as his son when she has been looking for him for ten years.
This film is driven by a bizarre basis – a woman who has sex with every individual who approaches her in some way with a sharp metal hair clip and somehow becomes pregnant after that act. By fleeing the law, she is forced to bandage her breasts and growing belly in order to be a convincing man. Vincent accepts her as his son, and it is up to us to discover the true motives of his action – whether he sincerely believed in the fraud, whether he just desperately wanted to believe it, or whether he simply went mad with sadness and despair during ten years of searching.
The story flows from one bizarre concept to another, and the author presents a not very harmonious combination of twisted ideas, horrible scenes and unexpected emotional development of our antagonist in her script. With the meeting of Aleksija and the firefighter, the author gives a bizarre basis to the bizarre basis, which gives what we have seen until then some stable basis for everything to seem real. Then we begin to follow two lonely, desperate people who, despite everything, are building an unexpected relationship.
Titanium possesses a fantastic appeal because all the absurd scenes and plots in it are presented in a direct and honest way, as if no one who participated in the film was aware of how comically and objectively stupid all this is. The author takes her script quite seriously and perfectly combines absurdity, emotional basis, occasional unexpected humor and disturbing scenes. The result of all this is that while watching, we will not notice how twisted all this is, but we become aware of it only somewhere during the check-out rush hour.
Alexia is a mysterious character with trauma who kills people for inexplicable reasons, but in the second part of the film he becomes a silent participant in Vincent’s delusion. The man is affected by longing for his son and his grief is understandable, compassionate and shown with a deep feeling of melancholy. Their incredible relationship is objectively separated from the initial ideas of the story, but it leaves the impression of a real, sad truth to which the time bomb in the form of what is in Aleksija’s does not help in any way. Everything we watch is weird and challenging, but definitely never boring.
Objectively speaking, nothing in this film makes sense, but it has some inner logic that makes us continue to watch and that everything makes perfect sense as we experience it. At a time when too many movies are played safely, with the goal of fulfilling the planned goal of making money at the box office or reaching streaming services, Julia Dukurno does not choose easy solutions and happy endings, but breaks the mold and takes risks by giving us a hellish ride filled with shock and awe.
Titanium is certainly the most twisted and provocative winner of the Cannes Film Festival, who deserves respect for his unusualness and authenticity, as well as for his courage to record something like this, even though he lacks the consistency of bizarre ideas and the right point.
my final grade: 6/10
Source: The Filmske Recenzije by filmskerecenzije.com.
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