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British director Danny Boyle of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Trainspotting" has created a world that is both paradoxically grounded in a gritty R rated visual, yet is on a whole different dimension when it comes to the plot and sequencing of events. Much like "Inception," "Trance" can be interpreted several different ways. The time frame of events, what is actually real, and who is "telling" the story are all subject to discussion. Unlike "Memento" where the story is clearly told backwards, it's possible that "Trance" is not linear either backwards or forwards. But at the same time, it could be. This is both part of the fun, as well as part of the frustration I felt when watching for the first time.
I tend to gravitate towards mysteries or plot twists that are shocking due to their relationship to the rest of the story, yet "Trance" is different. Its plot twists are not something that you can definitively figure out like a good mystery, nor are they related to the story so much as the very method of filming. There was a point while watching the movie though, where I just accepted the complexities and relaxed into enjoying the stylish and dream like narrative though.Read more ›
Director: Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, and 127 Hours)
Premise: Simon (James McAvoy) is an employee at an auction house in charge of managing and protecting expensive paintings. When his auction house comes under attack by Franck (Vincent Cassel) and his henchmen, Simon is struck in the head and forgets the location of the painting. After Simon's release from the hospital, Franck is determined to jog his memory - taking him to a professional hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) to recover the painting.
Thoughts: This film is quintessential Danny Boyle - break neck pace, stirring visuals, frenetic style at times and brimming with ambition. The film's story is layered with hypnotic sequences which overlap with real sequences. At times, the film can be a bit murky and confusion, mirroring Simon's own state of confusion after the attack - as the layers of hypnotism take their toll we, the viewer, is left wondering what, if anything, is real and if Simon is being manipulated or simply losing his mind. When the final act begins, the "reveal" flips the entire story on its head - changing our perspective but informing the entire journey up to that point.
Should you buy this film: Are you a fan of any of Boyle's previous films? Ambitious, erotic and thoroughly entertaining it is a worthy addition to any collection. On the fence? Give it a rent. But if you're a fan of repeat viewings and intense thrillers, this is a must have.
Much like Memento, in the end, everything (the main plotline anyway) becomes clear. There are sequences in the middle that continuously trick the viewer - one must simply sit back and enjoy. But contrary to some reviews here, there are no major lingering questions like at the end of Inception. It's actually wrapped up surprisingly neatly. That is, until you start thinking about it...
Simon (James McAvoy) works for a high end auction house that specializes in expensive art. The real expensive kind. During an attempted heist headed by Franck (brilliant Vincent Cassel), Simon tries to safeguard the most expensive work, a Goya, but is hit in the head by the butt end of Franck's rifle. He lands in the hospital and when he recovers, has amnesia regarding the events.
As it turns out Franck and company only got an empty frame. Franck searches Simon's house and car but comes up empty. He then tortures poor Simon. When that doesn't work, they hire a hypnotherapist played by Rosario Dawson in an award-worthy performance. As a veteran of these type films filled with false leads and premises, I can usually get close to what is going on. I will admit, I couldn't figure this one out.
Confusion and manipulation is always on the table but I thought Boyle and company had maybe one too many twists. This film is well acted and visually beautiful. And then there is Dawson as Elizabeth who shows off her acting skills and plenty more. And it's all good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had an issue with my prime at first and couldn't see the movie. I thought it was some new fangled mess and didn't get it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by TK
Better than expected, also well hot shot on the shrink pretty nice.Published 1 month ago by Jason Kruger
The first 20 min were good.....and then this thing fell terriblyly apart. This story could've worked if it weren't for all of the garbage in between the beginning and the ending. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mars
Excellent film. Misleading plot, grat acting & aersome directing as expected.Published 3 months ago by vy_low76