Raw

Cert: 18 Runtime: 99 mins Director: Julia Ducournau Cast: Garnace Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Lauret Lucas, Joana Preiss and Bouli Lanners

What are you hungry for?

Once Raw rocked Cannes last year the cinematic world went insane! People fainting, vomiting and well nausea all around. Julia Ducournau with her debut feature has created a massive stir with Raw. What the big shame about the film is people have a stigma about the film all ready. But we all know that any type of international film will be more intriguing than any Hollywood junk. I have been looking forward to Raw for a long time now, and finally I have seen it. So what is Raw about?  Following in the footsteps of her entire family, shy 16-year-old Justine (Garnace Marillier), an animal-loving vegetarian, enrols in veterinary college. Entering a seductive world of boys, drugs and all-night parties, she is confronted with a moral dilemma when she must eat a raw rabbit liver as part of an initiation ritual. She devours the meat, and is soon overtaken by unusual cravings.

This is a hybrid of Cronenberg & Passolini. Julia Ducournau has truly grabbed my attention, Raw currently is the best film I have seen this year so far! Truly this is a masterwork by Julia Ducournau. The umbrella theme of cannibalism truly is vile but this is a strong feminist film and a great self-discovery story of a young woman. As we all know if you are squeamish this isn’t the film for you. It has some disturbing imagery, Ducournau really gives it a great artistic angle. For me I have seen far worse scenes in cinema but I can understand why some people are traumatised by Raw. The grainy look of Raw gives the tone to it from the get go, the colours just give you the shivers throughout. It’s cold and un-nerving but this is what I like. The story evolves naturally throughout, it feels very organic and the development of  the key characters feel so genuine and real. I can’t give Julia Ducournau enough praise this is an outstanding debut as a writer/director.

Raw wouldn’t of been the behemoth it is without Garance Marillier. Justine will long live in my memory. Her evolution in Raw is just mesmeric. She starts off so fragile and by the end she becomes unleashes her inner woman. Pure poetry and a great female lead no doubt. For an actress I would imagine this was a difficult process for her to be in, but she thrives as Justine. I hope to see more of Mademoiselle Marrillier in the future. The other two stand out performances in Raw were from Ella Rumpf and Rabah Nait Oufella. They provide a great backbone to Justine, they really helped the evolution of the story. Their own progression throughout Raw truly make it a beautiful coming of age story. If Raw ever were to be made into an American film I would quit being a film critic! This is pure cinema for me, French/Belgium to be precise. It’s female empowering and unique if you can catch Raw please do so. This is what a strong female role looks like people, it may be gory and bloody but it packs a punch.

8.7/10

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