Raw is probably one of the most disturbing films I’ve ever watched. I literally couldn’t watch almost half of the film. I also didn’t expect that she was going to enjoy eating human flesh. But for the most part when I look at the movie, I see it as an exaggerated experience of the freshman experience. Most of us know the feeling of entering college, having new experiences, getting exposed to things we were sheltered from before. There are new changes going on with Justine just like how every person struggles or tries to find themselves when put in a new setting.
What really sparked justine’s new found appetite was when she succumed to her initiation. Even if it seemed that she didn’t have a choice, we know that she actually did yet she chose to still do it. She originally seemed like she hated it and that she even had negative reactions in her body (the rash and scabs she got) but then we start to see a transformation. It starts with just wanting to eat meat, then eating raw meat and finally trying human flesh (her sister’s finger. At this point I really felt that the movie was just getting more bizarre and really escalating quickly.
Justine and her relationship with her parents reminds me of my own. I have always had strict parents. I remember sneaking around and always making up lies so I don’t get caught. So for me, I understand the need for freedom and the craving for it the more your parents deprive you of it. For Justine this freedom was regarding meat. The more she was deprived of it, the more she craved for it and couldn’t stop herself. The more she tried to stop herself from what she really wanted, the more deprived she felt and again she starts to crave for it more. On the parents perspective, I think it’s normal how parents will always want to protect their children no matter what. My mom got pregnant at eighteen with my eldest brother and both my mom and dad had to struggle to make ends meet while studying so I think this was the reason they were very strict with me and my siblings. This is also explained why the mom of alexia and Justine would go crazy even if the slightest meat touched their food. I used to think she was just a typical vegetarian who probably loved animals. I didn’t realize that it was because she was also a cannibal and she didn’t want her children to experience what she was experiencing. Sometimes we think of parents as hypocrites but I honestly think that parents only try to prevent you from doing mistakes they have also made because they aren’t proud of it. At the same time, these mistakes are also part of understanding oneself and moving towards adulthood. With Adrienne’s character we also see the change and struggle to discover himself. He used to think he was gay but found himself drawn to Justine. So here we again see how different settings really create confusion to each person. We start to have doubts and even if we don’t like it, we know that change happens among all of us. Which isn’t always a bad thing because it also opens us to possibilities we never knew were possible.
Another issue in the film is the relationship of Justine and Alexia. I used to think they were very distant from each other and very different in attitude as well. But as the movie progresses, you see more and more the influence of Alexia in showing Justine who she really is. For a time, I thought that Alexia was just bad influence and trying to get Justine to be like her so that she wouldn’t feel alone. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that Alexia was opening justine’s eyes. One way or another she was bound to realize what she was capable of and Alexia would have preferred Justine to discover this with her guidance because she understood and loved her sister more than anyone else. However I also feel that the reason alexia killed addriane was because of the jealousy of alexia. She might have felt that addriene was competition for her love for her sister. In the end even after Alexia killed addriene, the bond of the sisters was stronger than ever. They had this understanding that nobody else had.