Raw (originally titled Grave) is one of the most interesting films to come out in the last year. It was described by audiences and critics as a disgusting film that made people throw up; and overall it was hailed as a film that brought so much more to the table than being a straight up horror or gore thriller film. In addition to doing horror well, it also serves as a great character study, and a beautiful coming of age tale.
The key here, in my opinion, is that Raw is not a Hollywood film, but a French film, directed by Julia Ducournau, and starring Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf and Rabah Nait Oufella among other talented cast members. Had this been a Hollywood film, I’m certain it would have been a run-of-the-mill gore-porn fest. But no, this has a certain… how should I saw this… European flair to it. But anyway, details and style aside, let’s get into some of the interesting life lessons I learnt from watching Raw recently.
Fear is Normal
The quicker you can realise this, and perhaps in some cases embrace it, the more enjoyable (or tolerable) your life will be.
It’s obviously clear that Justine fears discovering this new side of herself, and while on one hand it’s a great thing finding out new things about yourself; this discovery is extremely dangerous, and may have some severe consequences for her.
We All Have Urges
It’s a part of being human I guess, that we all have these animal urges we need to satisfy in some way.
And sometimes these things are frowned upon, depending on what it is. In the case of Justine, she’s discovered something she doesn’t appear to have much control over, and that openly threatens the safety of people around her. Unlike he sister, who embraces who she is, and descends into an animalistic state, Justine rises above her base urges, and proves she’s more than that.
We Compromise for the Ones We Love
Even though it appears Justine has overcome her newly found enjoyment of human flesh, she still has to live with the scar on her face, and the fact that her sister is in prison. Regardless of her misdeeds, Justine’s demeanour with her sister when visiting her in prison shows that they are still close.
Director Julia Ducournau summed it up quite nicely in a recent panel, stating that [paraphrasing] the great thing about sibling relationships on film is that you don’t need exposition to explain a change in the way siblings treat each other from one scene to the next, or even from one moment to the next. Anyone with a sibling knows that you can be tearing each others hair out one moment, and be totally back to normal, even expressing affection the next moment.
The idea of compromising for the ones you love is also brought home in a big way with the final scene of the film, where in a shocking moment, Justine’s father reveals scars on his body to her. He firstly touches his scarred lip, talking of the first time he kissed her mother, and then opens his shirt to reveal a number of scars on his body.
It’s obvious at this point that her mother has the same “condition” as her, and that her desire for human flesh is genetic. It’s an amazing moment as his calmness is displayed in stark contrast to her escalating level of unrest; and actor Laurent Lucas delivers the final line of the film in the collected, straight-forward tone he’d been using throughout the film: “I’m sure you’ll find a solution, honey”.
Overall, Raw was a fantastic film and I’m only sorry it took me this long to finally see it. Have you watched Raw yet? If so, what was your favourite part? You can click here to read more life lessons from other movies and TV series we love.
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