Raw by Julia Ducournau is definitely not for the faint of the heart (or those who easily lose their appetite). It is not particularly “tender” to audiences in showing scenes that involve cannibalism but for some weird reason, this film really sparked my curiosity. Instead of looking away during all the intense flesh-eating action, I watch intently as Justine, the protagonist, chew on her scrumptious human meal. There is something about this film that makes cannibalism look more than just a savage and unethical act. The way I saw it, it signifies that strong and passionate desires of the siblings in the movie. No matter how intensely gruesome and ridiculous it is, they can’t resist doing it because that is who they really are and that is what they really want. The film is just different from the other gory movies that I saw in a sense that it has something deeper to tell to its viewers. Even though using cannibalism as a representation is a bit too sick and overboard, I got the idea that the film is about the struggles the one has to overcome in finding one’s identity. It is a coming of age movie after all. The film begins with an innocent Justine who is just entering her first year in college. Because of her sister Alexia, she is further pushed into her own awakening.
If Raw was a wholesome film about something else that does not involve cannibalism, it would’ve been really easy and fun to watch. Its cinematography is different from the other films watched in class because it is only released recently. Although it contained a lot of horrendous scenes, the direction is still aesthetically pleasing. The two main characters, Justine and Alexia, are particularly strong in their own ways and their relationship with one another may resonate well with the audience. It kind of signifies the path that Justine has been led into. She goes through a lot of struggle and rejection in her growth to realizing who she really is. Her growth in the film may be relatable for the teenagers of today, except for the flesh-eating qualities. The film also wouldn’t make much sense if it was taken too literally or realistically. It works more on metaphors and representation. One could argue about certain possibilities in the movie such as the actions that should’ve been done in order to prevent our protagonists from turning into savages and ending in disastrous results but that is not really how it work in real life. The reality is, we are often left on our own in trying to figure out ourselves and that brings the impact for the movie.
Out of all the gory or horror movies that I have watched, Raw must be one of the most interesting ones. It does not pointlessly make use of cannibalism just to showcase terror. It makes use of terror to make a point to its viewers. If you can sit through the entire duration of the film without closing your eyes, you will Rget to truly appreciate Raw for what it really is and what it is really trying to say.