The new Danny Boyle film, Trance, is about a fine art auctioneer, Simon, played by James McAvoy, who teams up with a gang in order to steal an expensive painting, but after suffering a blow to the head, forgets where he hid the painting. As a result, the gang’s leader, Frank (Vincent Cassel), hires a hypnotherapist, Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to look into Simon’s mind. As Simon’s mind begins to unravel, it is soon very unclear who is good or bad, who is lying, and what is real.
Trance is reminiscent of Inception or the recent film, Side Effects, in the way that it’s filled with very complex, in depth content, with many twists and levels to uncover. The film utilizes flashbacks/forwards, filling in pieces like a puzzle until everything ultimately comes together. Trance is a film that makes you think. It demands your attention; without it you will quickly be lost. The hypnotherapy is very interesting, and it seemed to work well within the film. However, we quickly learn how manipulative and deceiving Dawson’s therapist can be.
The unique look captured in Trance is in keeping with a Boyle film (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, and Trainspotting). The film is very violent, with a lot of blood, gore, and multiple shocking scenes that can make you feel as though you’re the one being tortured. There is also a significant amount of nudity and sexual content. (more…)