The Palme d’or winner Titane is undoubtedly one of the most bizarre films you are likely to see this year.  The pure shock factor of it all keeps the audience engaged throughout but there are plenty of moments in which one can only turn away and grimace in pain in reaction to the disgusting actions shown on screen.  Titane is directed by Julia Ducournau who is quickly becoming one of the more notable and distinctive filmmakers working today.  Her first feature raw notably caused multiple people to faint when it first screened.  Her filmmaking style is palpable and makes her the very definition of an auteur.  

I would normally give a brief description of the first act but I think it’s best to go into this film completely blind and enjoy the ride.  

This film is not interested in explaining anything to the audience.  The motivations of the characters are entirely unclear and there’s a good chance most audience members will be waiting the whole film to get these answers but they never come.  90% of the time you will be asking yourself what the hell is going on, why are the characters doing this, what are their motivations?  Don’t even bother engaging in this exercise.  This is also a film that is devoid of any logic, so trying to make reason of anything is just a wasted effort, the premise of the film is a women that became pregnant by having sex with a car after all.  The imagery is sometimes upsetting and disgusting, enough to make myself turn away from the screen multiple times.  Once you get past the first act which is enthralling and filled with anticipation the story stalls and drags and doesn’t give the audience much to be invested in or care about.  Ducournau attempts to make a masterpiece but the lack of compelling story and interesting characters makes this movie miss the mark.  An incredible opening sequence that includes a tracking shot of Alexia entering the car show will make you think you’re in capable hands and that this film will be great but sadly it’s pretty much all downhill from there.  Titane is an experience, even though the writing and lack of coherent story structure causes this film to disappoint and not fulfill its full potential it still shines at times due to Julia Ducournau’s exceptional filmmaking talent. Unfortunately it still results in a film that’s half baked at best.   I liked the originality and attempt to be different but not at the expense of not writing a compelling story.   We don’t understand the protagonists and we don’t care for her at all as she’s an unsympathetic character.  Why Ducournau tries so hard to make the audience sympathetic to her is beyond me, it just doesn’t work.  It’s very hard to understand or sympathize with a character when the main protagonist has no backstory and does not have any dialogue at all after the first act.  

This film is so overstuffed with underdeveloped possibilities that it makes for a dissatisfied viewing experience, although one that never bores or makes you entirely disinterested.  The preceding 2nd and third acts feel as if they should be in an entirely separate film and they signal an abrupt turning point in the movie that is hardly a smooth transition.  An original and daring film albeit it misses the mark from a story and character perspective.