“Raw” has left me nothing but dumbfounded. I am struck. I was literally at a loss for words after seeing it and to be honest, there were literally times when I would . As I saw the title, I honestly thought this would be some ratchet horror or thriller film but I did not know that I was in for a treat. The way the film was colored, constructed and developed gave off the vibe that it was like one of those local, indie films that you have already seen somewhere. But I have never been more wrong.
It started out fresh and easy with an opening that portrays what it is like to be a vet student in that gory institution where Justine and her sister were studying. There was a lot of blood involved, which did not really sit well with my stomach. However, the film packed amazingly transitioned and devised jaw-droppers [especially that first time Justine bit off flesh from someone else]. This movie comes a close second to “Holy Motors” when it comes to shock factor. Because the film showcased something so absurd, that is the act of human eating raw flesh from fellow humans, I found myself laughing, cringing, and crying at the same time. “Raw” has made it possible for me to stick around watching a movie I am so utterly disgusted by, despite the many opportunities to do so. I think this movie is an experience in itself and becomes more enjoyable to watch when in groups. This is precisely because the movie really brings out the different ways people take in concepts as absurd as was shown in the film and how they respond to it.
Justine, while showing animalistic tendencies as she suffered in pain, also packed so much sensuality to narrative. Throughout the course of the movie, I found that a lot of scenes involved human touch, interaction—push and pulls, attempts to resist temptation, and the many opportunities to succumb to their desires [or better yet, cravings]. It was violent in a way that Justine had to inflict harm upon herself just to be able to protect the people around her and not eat them or their parts off, which proved compelling to me as an audience. It speaks so much of the sacrificial pains we humans have to go through everyday because the very nature of our relationship requires us to experience so.
The familial involvement also made an impact on me especially during that last confrontation scene with the dad, where he admitted to having an understanding of what his two girls were undergoing. Justine and her sister also showed an unmistakable bond in spite of their grave differences, so much so that the kind of forgiveness when given and asked of them, is the kind that has high stakes. Docournau did these female characters justice as she gave them very complex personas, instead of turning them into mere decorations. Now, there is nothing out of the ordinary in the way the film was shot., scored or colored. The camera seemed like an all-seeing eye, without being obtrusive. The characters unique and charming, but they hooked me enough to allow myself to appreciate their motivations and inclinations. Overall, “Raw” is a fantastic serve.