Movie Review: Raw (French)

Never have I squirmed so much in my seat while watching a movie, and yet couldn't help myself from watching it. Raw, directed by Julia Ducournau, is a film so visually vivid and striking (thanks to a fantastic cinematography by Ruben Impens), it will have you transfixed from the get go. At its heart it's a story about a 16-year-old strict 'vegetarian' who undergoes a startling transformation after a hazing ritual at the prestigious veterinary school she enrolls in (as had her elder sister and others in her family) gives her a ravenous craving for meat.

Thus what starts 'innocuously' with her stealing a hamburger from the cafeteria slowly but steadily escalates into the bizarre and outlandish as she begins to surreptitiously gnaw at raw chicken in her dorm room refrigerator and even more horrifyingly, arouse in her a carnal taste for human flesh. As if alluding to her very change in taste, her father remarks thus at one point about their pet dog - "An animal that's tasted human flesh isn't safe." But Raw is also much more than your regular cannibal/vampire film, offering an impressive glimpse about sexuality, identity, body image and conformity. Unsettling, shocking and hypnotic, Ducournau's feature debut offers of plenty of manna to chew on.