Written by Guillermo Troncoso.
James McAvoy plays Simon, an art auctioneer who gets involved with a group of criminals (led by Vincent Cassel) in order to steal a valuable painting. The robbery doesn’t go according to plan. During the robbery Simon is hit on the head, leaving him unable to remember where he left the painting – much to the dismay of the gang. Enter Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), a hypnotherapist who is hired to help Simon remember.
Danny Boyle has established himself as one of cinema’s great directors. He can jump from genre to genre and manages to bring his unique style to the process. 28 Days Later, Millions, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours all showed that he was one of the most versatile directors around. Trance is right up Boyle’s alley. Monologues, extreme violence, sex, dream-sequences – there’s plenty for him to work with in this crazy ride of a film.
This is the type of movie that tries its best to keep you guessing and scratching your head. Twists and turns are rampant throughout. One minute you’ll be completely aware of what is going on, the next minute you’ll be feeling as confused and troubled as the film’s protagonist. It’s hard to speak on the mind bending developments of the story without giving anything away. Suffice it to say that the twists and turns mostly work.
Part love-triangle, part psychological-thriller, Trance benefits from Boyle’s energetic direction and Jon Harris’ mood altering editing. The main issue here is with the direction the screenplay goes to. Basically, the film’s ultimate pay-off doesn’t quite add up upon closer inspection. Although, there’s so much going on at any given time that it’s easy to skip over the gaping holes in the screenplay’s logic. Then again, maybe I’m being a little too picky.
There’s plenty here that works beautifully. The cast are all at the top of their game and Danny Boyle truly knows his medium. If you can gloss over the story’s imperfections then you’ll most likely enjoy this relentless thriller. I may not have fully bought the film’s conclusion, but I thoroughly enjoyed the crazy road it took to get there.
THE REEL SCORE: 7/10