The film’s true weakness is in its inability to explore Alexia as a person, keeping things vague while centering the extreme body horror aspects.
Titane is not a movie for the faint of heart. Replete with violence and body horror that is as gruesome as it is bizarre, the film, written and directed by Julia Ducournau, has a few intriguing themes, but its story is muddied and sometimes empty as it veers off in various directions. When its focus is on Agatha Rousselle’s Alexia and the lack of control she has over her own body, Titane digs a bit deeper. However, the film’s true weakness is in its inability to explore Alexia as a person, keeping things vague while centering the extreme body horror aspects.
Alexia (Rousselle) has a fascination with cars from an early age. Following an accident that leaves her with a titanium plate in her head, Alexia shows affection towards the car instead of being angry, kissing and hugging it after leaving the hospital. As an adult, Alexia is a dancer at a car show. After dancing atop one of the cars one night, Alexia, who has also killed several people, has sex with the vehicle and finds herself pregnant shortly thereafter. After a murder spree gone wrong, Alexia goes into hiding, breaking her nose and taping down her breasts and pregnant belly in a bid to masquerade as Adrien, the son of fire chief Vincent (Vincent Lindon) who went missing at the age of seven.