Trance: Film Review

Danny Boyle, the mind that orchestrated the glorious opening Olympic ceremony and brought us the likes of Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting. Is back, not even a year since the Olympics, Danny Boyle is back on our screens with the film, Trance.

The main character Simon (James McAcoy) is a fine art auctioneer who when in a robbery hides a precious Goya painting from a group of thieves. Simon is knocked unconscious in the robbery, losing his memory by Franck (Vincent Cassel). After torturing Simon for the location of the painting, Franck enlists the help of a hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) to help Simon remember. Using hypnosis, Elizabeth explores Simon’s subconscious to learn about his repressed memories.

Trance, from the start is clever, tense and full of action. Boyle has managed to create a strong film and his cinematic style adds so much to the film. Visually, it is an absolute spectacle. However, the story is hard to follow. Boyle has described Trance as a ‘puzzle’, which I completely agree with, as you always have to pay attention to piece together what is happening. There are a trio of main characters we follow; usually it is clear who is the hero, who is the villain? But Trance breaks this normality and throughout it’s hard to know who is who.

What makes Trance hard to follow is the pace of the story. There are twists and turns, which make it fantastic, but there are points where it is hard to know if we are exploring Simon’s memories or reality. Trance has similarities to Vanilla Sky, in the way that the film is exploring memory and creating a challenging world for the viewers.

Before seeing the film, I noticed quite a lot of harsh reviews on Trance with many critics slamming it because they found the story baffling, dark and questioning the premise. Yes, I agree the story is not the best in the world. But I believe people are expecting too much from Danny Boyle. He directed this film at the same time whilst working on the Olympics and I see Trance, as an artistic expression of having fun. Which can explain the excessive style, violence and sex.

Danny Boyle in Trance creates a very immersive world and it is of no surprise that the soundtrack is superb. Trance is more than just a film; it is an enjoyable experience that is hard to forget.

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