Raw (2017)

RawStarring Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella

Directed by Julia Ducournau

Everyone’s got a little white lie to tell, and sometimes those little fibs are used in a hook method in order to reel the public in due to the “shocking nature” of a particular film. This latest attempt follows on the heels of Julia Ducournau’s cannibalistic-flick, Raw.

According to stories, there were reports of puking and passing out during the screening of this particular presentation, and if that truly is the case, then by all means: well done to everyone involved in the creation and construction of this French exhibit about the un-satiated need for human flesh and blood…now if the aforementioned yacking and flopping didn’t happen, then shame on you all. In any event, if there did happen to be some tender-stomached viewers, then they would have seen some instances that perhaps MAYBE could have rolled a gut or two, but I seriously doubt that there’s anything faint-worthy or regurgitation-assisted to mention, but then again I’m jaded. The story centers around veterinary-school freshman Justine (Marillier), and her staunch vegan ways, firmly set into place by her parents during her upbringing. Once enrolled in school, she tails her older sister (Rumpf), who is also in the vet program, and heeds the warning that her impending hazing will just be something that she’ll have to contend with if she wants to survive at the school. One of the stunts that she initially must undergo is the chomping down of a rabbit kidney, to which she is mortified, but at the risk of relentless taunting and possible exclusion, she downs the innard and unwillingly starts an internal beast-clock inside her system that will not let her rest until she consumes some real flesh.

Justine starts off small with simple rare hamburgers, but we all know that just won’t suffice, so it’s onto larger cuts of meat, and I assume this is where the “vomiting” comes in? Could it be that an animal has awoken in Justine that cannot be subdued, or is there a much bigger secret that could be the cause of all this beef-binging? Forget about the slow-moving tempo, or overindulgence of cringe-inducing imagery, Raw is one of those films that’s got a real story to tell, and it works its way out of its shell over time. The strength of family, the pressures of a new school…the urge to not chew someone’s leg off – hey, pressures are all around us. It’s an interesting film to witness, but not exactly one I’d be shouting off of the rooftops about – feel free to give it a look as a one-timer, but don’t sweat about buying a puke-guard anytime soon.

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Matt Boiselle

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