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“Trance” – Review (POSITIVE)

April 10, 2013

Screen shot 2013-04-10 at 4.34.16 PMDanny Boyle returns to the intense-nail biting style crime caper, in this mind-bending hallucinogenic thrill ride. “Trance” is a movie experience like no other, with the exception of leaving the audience baffled & frustrated for about 75% of the films overall runtime, it makes up for just about everything with a whopping finale that will leave you scratching your heads, and feeling as though you need to re-watch it to catch all the little clues.

A fine art auctioneer named Simon (James McAvoy) finds himself mixed up with a gang of thugs to steal a rare piece of artwork. In return, the leader of the group, Frank (Vincent Cassel) will pay off Frank’s gambling debts. However, things get a little slippery after Simon suffers a head injury and forgets where he hid the prized item from Frank and his boys. Now, Simon joins forces with a hypnotherapist, Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), to recover a lost painting and his forgotten memories. As boundaries between desire, reality and hypnotic suggestion begin to blur the stakes rise faster than anyone could have anticipated.

By all means this is a Danny Boyle picture, fierce camera work, colorful characters, terrifying/bizarre imagery, and of course violent imagery not made for the timid; finger nails being peeled off completely do anything for you? What intrigues me the most is how the movie does a bang up job at toying with the audience mind, which can probably be the biggest issue the movie is suffering. If your audience loses interest because you constantly make a 180 after 180, people will lose interest fast and won’t even care what the twist is, to them it’s just bullshit. People like me however, hoping to see something that will make up for all the craziness by the end, the payoff can be great.

Aesthetically, I feel like we deserved more, much more. This is the same filmmaker behind “Trainspotting”“Shallow Grave”“Slumdog Millionaire”,  and “127 Hours”, and for some reason I feel like Boyle was holding back. This could have really been a bat shit crazy looking movie, the movie literally goes inside the minds of others. Sure, “Inception” capitalized on that, but I’m sure Boyle could’ve figured out a wilder trip inside the mind of a person, let alone criminals.

I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite film of his, “The Beach” still takes the cake at being Danny Boyle’s worst film to date, but “Trance” does find it’s own grand when it becomes somewhat cohesive by the final act of the film. The actors are all in top form here, McAvoy & Dawson are a great pairing, but it’s Vincent Cassel’s supporting role I feel is to be the real winner of the film. His character starts out as someone you don’t feel like you could side with to someone you find ever so likable. “Trance” overall does it’s job as earning the staple of being a ‘Danny Boyle film’, it doesn’t earn high praise like “Shallow Grave” or “Trainspotting”, but it can certainly be squeezed somewhere between “28 Days Later” “Slumdog Millionaire”.


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