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Movie Review: Trance

By Edited Aug 4, 2016 0 0

Certificate 15, 101 minutes

Director: Danny Boyle

Stars: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel

Trance is the latest film by Danny Boyle, a crime thriller in which Simon (James McAvoy, Welcome to the Punch, X-Men: Days of Future Past) works for fine art auctioneer's Delancy's. During the auction of a very expensive painting, a gang of organised thieves led by Franck (Vincent Cassel, Jason Bourne) stage a robbery of the auctioneer's. Delancy's have a standard practice that, in the event of a robbery, they would remove the most expensive piece of art and put it in a safe place, which was what Simon tried to do. Franck interrupts this process and takes the painting. Simon tries to play the hero, despite being regularly told that "no piece of art is worth a human life" and gets hit in the head during the robbery.

Franck and his gang discover that after, they think, successfully stealing the painting that they haven't actually got it and all they have is the frame. They are convinced that Simon knows where the missing painting is as he was, after all, the last person to touch it before it was stolen. Due to the head injury he suffered, Simon cannot remember the events and is suffering from amnesia and does not know where the painting is. Franck becomes convinced he is telling the truth after subjecting him to a rather nasty bit of torture. Franck inquires with the surgeon who treated Simon and is told that there are no drugs or conventional means of restoring loss memories. He then looks into unconventional means; namely, hypnosis.

Franck sends Simon to a hypnotherapist, Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson), although with a cover story - it would hardly do to say that they are looking for a stolen painting that they have lost - in order to see if his lost memories can be recovered and find out what happened to the painting. Elizabeth becomes involved with both both Franck and Simon, further adding to the complications.

Once Simon starts having sessions with Elizabeth you sometimes cannot tell, probably deliberately, initially what is real and actually happening and what is a vision as a result of the hypnosis. Simon also has problems with determining what is true and what isn't, and sometimes gets confused in real life. There are twists and turns to the plot and rather more going on than originally appeared to be the case and what has Simon actually forgotten may be more than originally though. The frequent repetition of Simon tapping on various windows seems to hold some significance.

Trance has some sometimes unpleasant scenes, such as the torture Franck subjects Simon too which, whilst vicious, tends not to cause lasting damage, quite a bit of violence and some nudity. Much of the film revolves around the complex relationship between Simon, Franck and Elizabeth; the rest of the cast, even the remaining robbers, are largely background scenery. Therefore, it's McAvoy's, Dawson's and Cassel's performances that are the most important. Trance is a pretty decent crime thriller and does not always turn out quite as expected, which is always a plus as far too many films are extremely predictable.
Trance egdcltd 2014-05-22 3.5 0 5


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