Review: Trance

Do you believe in hypnosis? Do you believe you can remember what has been forgotten? Do you believe something that has never happened? Danny Boyle’s new film Trance blurs the line between reality and the unconscious, leaving you bewildered and enticed.

Trance is a compelling mystery surrounding around art auctioneer Simon (James McAvoy). Simon assists a gang of criminals in a heist at an art auction, however he is knocked out during the robbery and claims to have lost all memory and resorts to a hypnotherapist to help find the missing Goya painting. As hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) unravels his memory, the past is revealed, the present is distorted and the future is unpredictable. Danny Boyle illustrates an imbalanced world through inclined camera angles, extravagant use of colour, fast-paced narrative and music.

Trance isn’t only a great story, but has been made to entice an audience. The film opens with a Scorsese style lecture which later becomes irrelevant, however the stolen painting is clandestinely used to indicate and prefigure the events of the film. The four writhing men in the air of the painting connote the four gang members, led by Frank (Vincent Cassel) and the man standing perplexed in anguish with his face covered on the ground represents Simon and his developing anxiety. As the film develops, the fast and energetic pace seems to increase, the direction of the plot constantly changes making us question what reality is and what it is not, ultimately pleasing us with a detailed and gratifying conclusion, one which was not expected.

As much as I think Trance is a visually convincing, fast paced, action packed, sensually gripping drama, many disagree, stating that it is a loose and a simple story. It is a film which creates different opinions and interpretations, reinforcing the idea that everyone has their own judgments which should make you want to watch this film even more. Danny Boyle’s last hit was the opening ceremony to the London Olympics of 2012, even though Trance is also set in London, it is simply incomparable, as it is to any of his other films. Danny Boyle is notoriously known for his unpredictable choice of narrative and his visually persuasive films, you never know what is going to come next! Compared to his previous films; 127 Hours (2010), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), 28 Days Later (2002) and Trainspotting (1996), Trance is a fast paced psychological thriller which definitely pleases an audience. If you like Inception or Fight Club then Trance is definitely a film which you’d enjoy.

15 Certificate

Review by LiveWire Young Film Critic, Megan Al-Ghailani (March ’13)