Tuesday, 3 September 2013

'Trance' Film Review

Director Danny Boyle (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire), known for his style and recently famed for the London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony, brings us his latest film 'Trance', a hypno-heist-bloody-psycho-thriller.


Simon (James McAvoy), an art auctioneer, becomes involved with stealing a famous painting for Frank (Vincent Cassel), but when confronted at the auction house and the two enter a struggle, Frank hits Simon's head, leading to Simon's amnesia. When Frank discovers that the painting is missing from the briefcase, he tortures Simon but he does not remember. 


The two seek the help of hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) in order to try to unlock Simon's memories. As they combat Simon's security issues and delve deeper into his mind, they discover he has an obsession with Elizabeth, a fantasy. Things complicate when Elizabeth and Frank's relationship also gets physical. 

Jealousy, paranoia and suspicion within the trio's relationship threaten their goal to restore the painting's location, each one questioning the other's true intentions. Will the fragility of their relationships consume them all? Or will they find the painting before its too late?



From the opening sequence of the movie, the audience is assured that this would be a slick film. I was totally engrossed and at the edge of my seat for most of the movie. Speedy but interspersed with more subdued moments, the film is well balanced, and matched with Boyle's sexy but at times bloody style, makes for a very well paced and emotive film.

Stylistically dark and twisted, the themes of hypnotism, reality and deception are well integrated into the characters' relationships. Could the seemingly vulnerable Simon want the painting for himself? Is Frank going to kill Simon after? Is Elizabeth manipulating them all and seducing Simon for the painting? These questions pop up throughout as you guess what everyone's motives are. 



The movie heightens when Elizabeth grows physical with both men. The relational tussle and power play erupts at that moment, leading to the film's explosive and tragic climax. What is real? How far will Simon's paranoia take him? The ultimate reveal is mindblowingly simple and yet seemingly obvious, but handled effortlessly to be consistently deep with the rest of the movie.

~~~CAST~~~
James McAvoy- Simon
Rosario Dawson- Elizabeth
Vincent Cassel- Frank

Also stars Tuppence Middleton and Danny Sapani.

McAvoy, Dawson and Cassel are perfectly cast as three distinct characters: vulnerable, seductive, aggressive and manipulative are just a few words in the great pool of characteristics they share. There is a strong chemistry between the three and towards the end, McAvoy and Dawson really break through with a distinct performance. 


~~~OVERALL~~~
Whilst 'Trance' might not be as much of a mindfuck as 'Inception', it has enough deception and paranoia to keep you guessing and wondering what is and isn't real. The plot and themes are well sculpted in a movie that has visual style which is dark, edgy and sexy, ending with an explosive climax that has you at the edge of your seat. Danny Boyle at his best.

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