t r a n c e
27th March 2013
National Treasure Danny Boyle
James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson
28th March 2013
To a certain extent, you know what you’re getting with a Danny Boyle film. There will be pumping techno music, there will be duplicitous characters, there will be blood. All of the above is present and correct in Trance. I’m struggling to write around the desire to merely put something down that sounds like a quote off a poster. I’m going to go ahead and get that out of my system so I can crack on with the rest ‘Trance is a dark, twisted psychological roller coaster of a film’. There, I’ve done it. That feels good. I apologise.
I loved this film and I don’t say that lightly. If I sit and think and try to pick holes in it, I’m sure they are there, but the point is, the last thing I want to do is that because you’ll forgive any superb film its holes. And this film is very, very nearly superb.
To briefly explain the part of the plot that I can do without spoiling it, Trance begins as a heist movie as McAvoy’s character explains the ins and outs of robbing a priceless painting, whilst in the foreground, Unkle plays loud and the heist takes place. What follows is a properly twisted set of events based around the robber’s need to coax the location of the bounty out of an amnesiac McAvoy. To this end, Dawson’s hypnotherapist character is employed and it all goes very, very strange.
To talk about the plot any further would spoil the joy of watching it unfold. McAvoy, recently seen in some hard men type roles, is perfectly cast as the auction house worker who may not be all he seems and Vincent Cassel can do no wrong for this website. He exudes a kind of horrific charm as the slightly brighter than stereotype criminal, we are never sure just exactly who is out of their depth. For that matter, we spend a large amount of time not even sure whose pool we’re out of our depth in. The delightfully twisty plot sends us backwards and forwards between the main characters and our allegiance is never certain.
The film looks great and shows a far less stylised version of London than the recent Welcome To The Punch. Not that this diminishes the view at all. Boyle does his usual trick (I don’t use that word disingenuously) with the soundtrack, pounding us with kinetic techno music and driving us along and into the story. I watched another film the day after Trance in an adjoining screen and in the quiet periods, I could hear and feel Trance. Not particularly a reflection on the quality of the cinema sound proofing, it really is that loud.
And that’s the thing with Trance. It is loud. It’s a dark, twisted experience. You watch and feel this movie at the same time and it doesn’t feel like the other movies. I really don't want to write anything else about this film because it will be far better seen without any briefing. Go and see it on the best screen you can. Sit back and just get involved. You will thank me.