Raw ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Hooptober 2017 #6

There were three times throughout this film that I had to hit the pause button to gather myself for a second, and not just because what's depicted is fundamentally disturbing (it is). It's not only unflinchingly grotesque, but directed so sure-handedly you'd be forgiven for assuming this wasn't Julia Ducournau's first time in the chair.

To me, the pulsing heart of this film is the score. Each pivotal plot point is underscored by an unforgettable musical cue that amps the emotional pull to 11. The scene in which Justine first fully experiences her cannibalistic desires is so perfectly executed in part because of the jarringly emotive swell of the backing track; we don't just watch Justine process her feelings, we're pulled right into them.

And the feminine perspective that this film takes on works magic for its themes. The relationship between Justine and Alexia is developed so well and in a way few could pull off without firsthand experience of the sisterly experience (sans the cannibalry, I'd hope?)

Not to mention the cinematography. Let me frame those parking lot shots.

Above all else, though, Raw is truly daring and original. Few films go this far with their concepts without at least making a few compromises along the way. It's edgy without being cheap, and by the end credits I couldn't shake the stupid grin off of my face that comes with viewing a personal masterpiece.


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