Film Review: Trance (FOX Searchlight)

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by Pouya G. Asadi

 

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5z93p60hlf5435d876w591dxw0_2Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, 127 Hours) is at it again, this time utilizing cinema to enter the world of art heist and hypnotism. Trance is quite a rather bold attempt at that.  Trance follows Simon (James McAvoy), Franck (Vincent Cassel) and Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson).  Almost every scene is full of closeups of these characters’ faces, so you better start liking the way they look.  Simon is a private art auctioneer who handles classic paintings worth more than any of us can dream of.  Franck, the leader of thieves, plans a heist at Simon’s auction (furthering the infamous typecasting of Cassel). Things go sour at the heist and Franck ends up knocking Simon out via pistol-whip. From here on out, Boyle employs a stylization for the audience to enter Simon’s head. We, as the audience, collectively suffer from a concussion thanks to Franck’s gun-whip. The rest of the film is life through a trauma victim’s eyes; memory loss, mixed hallucinations, bad dreams and the like.
You're feeling sleepy: Rosario Dawson in Trance.
For avid Boyle fans, the aesthetically pleasing Trance brings about nostalgic shots and cuts from his very first film, Shallow Grave. It’s nice to see the subtle parallels of Boyle’s first film and his latest. The film also deals with plenty of vibrant monologues from the devilishly engaging hypnotist Elizabeth. She gives a tour de force performance as an apparent deity of a woman, almost to a mystic level. Elizabeth is definitely in control in this film, her potent gaze and words delivering their message with force.  Trance is a powerfully good time.
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Official Trance Website

 

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