I will just get one thing out of the way. Raw is not for everyone. It’s not an easy watch for various reasons. It will disgust quite a lot of people, and the more casual viewer will dread the pacing. Now that we got that out of the way, here is why Raw is an interesting French / Belgian production.
Raw has been on my radar for some time. If you follow movie news, you might have heard of Raw (Grave in French). Reports of people fainting during the Sundance Film Festival premiere, cinemas providing audiences with sick bags in LA, clearly indicated this movie experience was not for the faint of heart, or shall I say stomach?
Raw should not be thrown into the same group of cheap gory horror flicks plaguing the cinemas today. Does it have gory scenes? Yes, it does. Is it a horror movie? Not exactly. It leans more toward the coming of age drama strong in symbolism, sprinkled with gory scenes that push the story forward.
More than a gory cheap thrill, Raw is an emotional ride that is often disturbing but has an engaging story to tell.
Structurally Raw is impressive. It has a story to tell and it knows where it wants go, without leaving any gory details behind. French director and writer Julia Ducournau delivers an impressive first feature, and I am dying to see where she goes from here.
If you want a taste of what you are in for, Raw tells the story of a young vegetarian, that after a carnivorous hazing ritual, begins to crave meat in the worst possible way. Garance Marillier is particularly impressive portraying a teen going through change, and getting hold of her desires as a woman.
While the subject is cannibalism, the French/Belgian production is full of symbolism, touching on many of the subjects present in coming of age movies. More than a cheap gory thrill, Raw is an emotional ride that is often disturbing but has an engaging story to tell.
Post-Credits: Nice to listen to The Dø’s – Despair, Hangover & Ecstasy during one of the scenes. You should definitely check them out.
Raw offers some rather disturbing scenes, but its pacing and story have more to say, than one would usually expect. A movie that tries to be realistic in a ‘what if’ scenario, Raw may shock you, but it will stay with you in all the right ways.