Don’t Bother Buying Snacks

By Sadira Sittampalam | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 20 2021
Echo Don’t Bother Buying Snacks

By Sadira Sittampalam

Titane (English: Titanium) is a French film by director Julia Ducournau that recently won top honours at this year's Cannes Film Festival. It follows a woman, Alexia, who was injured in a car accident as a child and has a titanium plate fitted into her head following the accident. 

This film is classified as a body horror film, which is a subgenre of horror that makes use of grotesque or psychologically disturbing images of the human body. While I’m not someone who particularly enjoys horror, I can stomach a good amount of body horror. However, this film really tested my limits, easily being one of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life. 

The plot doesn’t really waste time trying to be realistic. It is strange and continues to be strange throughout its runtime. However, even though it didn’t have to be realistic, there were portions of the plot that I did end up questioning quite a bit. But this is a movie that isn’t really about the straightforward plot, rather the metaphor behind it. 

This is one of the reasons that I did appreciate this film quite a bit, as, unlike most horror movies that only offer frights and gore, this one actually had a lot of depth to its story surrounding things like familial relationships, trauma and bonding. Thus, while there are aspects of the story that I do have issues with, the overall idea is endearing enough for me to ignore it. 

This was also a movie that had quite a limited amount of dialogue, most notably as the main character, played by Agathe Rouselle, only had very few speaking lines. Nevertheless, her performance still carried the film as her expressions said everything you needed to hear. And with how ridiculous the actual events of the movie were, it is a wonder that she managed to make you believe it with just her expressions and vocalisations. 

Her performance simply felt so natural, as if she was actually living through the characters insane life. Every ridiculous thing that happened felt so visceral and authentic because of how she reacted to it, to the point where it was actually kind of harder to look at her face as opposed to the actual gore. 

The special effects were all so amazing as all of the prosthetics, gore and guts felt so legitimate. I genuinely couldn't tell what was fake as everything felt so integrated into this setting. This in conjunction with the sound design just made me wriggle in my seat because I could feel the things that happened on the screen in my own body.  

I was just so uncomfortable in practically every scene as I knew there was going to be something gross happening. I gasped and gawked so many times throughout this film it was astounding. I genuinely love when a movie is able to elicit such raw reactions from its audience. It just goes to show how effective this movie was at doing what it was supposed to - making you feel shocked and disgusted. 

Even in scenes where there wasn’t anything particularly gross happening, I still felt quite uncomfortable and uneasy due to the production design and cinematography. There was just a certain quality to each scene that made you feel tense and nervous. In certain scenes, just the use of colours made me feel uncomfortable as they had this sickly sweet pink coloured bathroom that felt nauseating. 

The soundtrack also added to this as a subtly adding in sounds that made you feel restless and disturbed. I also appreciated the very palatable lack of the male gaze in this movie, as despite so much nudity in this film, nothing felt overly sexualised - which is one of the best consequences of having a female director. It was presented as it is; a body belonging to a female. 

I am truly astounded with how powerful this film was and while I will probably not ever want to watch it again because of how uncomfortable I was throughout, I will remember this movie for a long time. There were certain scenes that I had to watch through my fingers as I couldn’t bear to look straight on at the screen, yet at the same time, I couldn’t pull my eyes away. This was just an entirely unique cinematic experience that anyone who is a fan of body horror or anyone who wants to test the limits of what they can stomach should see. 

By Sadira Sittampalam | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 20 2021

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