Titane, a daringly outlandish movie about serial killer Alexia, her use of personas to elude capture and her excessive and physical love for vehicles, was written and directed by Julia Ducournau and was the recipient of the Palme d Or award at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. The picture, which combines drama, gore, and suspense, is frighteningly profound and effective when it works well, but it also occasionally has an aura of excess and the potential to cause controversy.
Titane Plot Summary
The story of the movie opens with a young Alexia and her father driving down a highway. Alexia imitates the sound of a revving motor, which bothers her father and causes him to become distracted from driving. The outcome is that the automobile collides with the barrier, seriously hurting the young child. A titanium plate was affixed to her skull in order to keep her alive, leaving a long-lasting scar on the side of her head. Alexia decides to embrace and kiss the automobile as she is driven away from the hospital, appearing uninterested in her parents’ company. After many years, Alexia has grown up and now performs as a stripper at auto events.
One evening as she leaves her job, a man chases her down for an autograph, declares his love for her, and attempts to kiss her without her will. During their kiss, Alexia pulls him up close before savagely stabbing her hairpin into his ear, instantly killing him. When she hears loud mechanical bangs coming from the garage, she runs outside to investigate what is wrong before returning to her employment to take a shower and wipe off the encounter’s stains. She enters the Cadillac that she was performing on earlier with its lights on and appears to have sexual intercourse with it after being overcome by sexual desire as she touches it affectionately. The following morning, Alexia awakens with rigid abdominal muscles, an ache in her stomach, and black oil marks on her thighs. Despite residing in her parents’ home, she is obviously estranged from them.
The following evening, while on a date with Justine, a fellow singer with whom she shares the stage, Alexia vomits, feels a bulge in her tummy, and notices that black motor oil is oozing from her vagina. She later learns that she is pregnant as a result of the experience from the previous night. She murders Justine and every other man and woman in the home that night while making love to her. One of the women manages to fend off Alexia and escape, leaving Alexia physically shaken. When she gets home, she sets the house on fire while burning off her clothes. When she discovers her parents asleep in their chamber, she locks the door, killing them, and leaves on her own.
Arriving at the airport by hitchhiking, she discovers that she is now sought for murder and that the police are aggressively looking for her. But in addition to her wanted poster, she also notices a picture of a young boy who vanished ten years prior and a digital recreation of what he might appear to be like today. Alexia decides to pass for the boy, Adrien, after realising she resembled the image and deciding this would be the best escape strategy. She shortens her hair, wraps tape firmly over her body to conceal the size of her breasts and her expanding belly, and smashes her nose so she can get a better look at Adrien. She then turns herself in to the police, who then get in touch with Adrien’s father, Vincent, who warmly accepts Alexia and dismisses the idea of a DNA test.
Vincent And Alexia: The Long-Lost Father And Son
Although it is addressed indirectly, the narrative’s central theme is the estrangement of parents from their children. Since the beginning, when Alexia deliberately irritates her father in the car, which ultimately causes the accident, he appears uncomfortable and a little repulsed even when he touches adult Alexia’s tummy while monitoring her (the father is professionally a doctor). Additionally, he observes Alexia returning home in bloodied attire and might assume she is the serial killer being mentioned in the news, but he decides to keep his distance.
As Vincent brings Alexia home, thinking she is his missing son, Adrien, the story and this subject take a quite unexpected and extreme turn. The captain of a fire station, Vincent, begins to treat Alexia with the love and care (that he believes she deserves) as well as some compulsive sternness that is the complete reverse of the detachment Alexia’s true father displayed. He wants to take care of Alexia/Adrien, as he keeps saying in the dialogue. He transforms her, including her in his firefighting efforts, and invites her to engage in conversation with him (she does not speak at all as she is trying to protect her identity). There is a sense of similarity between the two because they are both quite bodily. Vincent, on the other hand, wants to maintain what his body once was, whereas Alexia is at ease and wants to be in control of her body as she attempts to have an abortion on herself and then hides her breasts and belly.
He frequently administers steroid injections in an effort to maintain his youthful strength and vitality, but it appears that he is failing. Alexia begins to feel more at ease, whether it be due to the alteration in their paternal connection or this greater symbolic similarity. Then, one day, when she discovers Vincent having an overdose episode, she has the chance to leave the house. However, Alexia chooses against leaving and stays with Vincent all the way to the end. Vincent also learns Alexia’s true identity at the very end and chooses to remain by her side while she gives birth. As Alexia lies dead next to them, Vincent is the one who is holding Alexia’s infant and tells it that he is there for it.
Titane Ending Explained: What Is Alexia s Relation With Titanium?
Since Alexia was raised with the titanium plate holding her skull together, it seems as though her life has altered. It nearly seems as though the titanium in her body controls both her mind and body, allowing her to have sex with a car and become pregnant with a child whose unmistakable father is a Cadillac. In addition to passing more black motor oil from her breasts and vagina as she gets more pregnant, Alexia also scratches a hole in the skin of her belly, partially exposing a gleaming metal womb inside of her. She gives birth in agony, the hole gets bigger, the skin on her belly breaks, and more and more motor oil leaks out till she gives birth and then passes away. The baby also looks to have a titanium spine.
What does this signify, though? Given that the movie gives no suggestions, it is difficult to speculate on what this human-metal fusion might actually entail or even represent. While it is possible to see the supernatural possession of a human body by a metal from one angle, it is also possible to view it as the director’s extremely visual way for presenting Alexia’s unnaturalness. She is a cold-blooded killer who only takes lives for pleasure when she feels like it. Alexia only makes love without any bloody consequences with cars—a Cadillac at the beginning and a firetruck at the end—and everybody who tries to get near to her physically or romantically ends up getting killed.
Dark humour and gore are also used in several instances in Titane. An cheery music is playing while a murder is being committed, and Alexia (and the viewer) are ignorant of how many people are actually inside the house, so they all appear one by one as the scene of Alexia killing Justine and everyone else in the house plays out with a gloss of very dark humour (and Alexia keeps killing them off). In the second part of the movie, when Alexia’s unnatural kid eventually tears out of her body, the only source of gore and terrible violence is Alexia’s own pregnant body. For those who are not repulsed by gore, violence, or sex, Titane is an extraordinarily enjoyable film thanks to its strong acting and cinematography. Though the movie has a lot of themes and potential symbolism, few of them actually make sense, and some might be there to appear profound.
Julia Ducournau’s drama-horror movie Titane was released in 2021.