Danny Boyle’s hyper-charged new film Trance is a psychological thriller so hypnotic in its visual style and techno-synthesized soundtrack that it feels like watching a cross between the mind tripping films Memento (2000) and Fight Club (1999) with a little art history thrown in the mix. 

Set in the high stakes world of European fine art, a London art auctioneer and addicted gambler Simon, played by James McAvoy recently seen in X-Men: First Class (2011), decides to steal a valuable painting with the help of a group of his criminal accomplices to pay off his gambling debts. 

Trance has all the visual flair you would expect from a Danny Boyle film, who is known for pushing the genre envelope with films like Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and 127 Hours (2010), and is at the top of his game here, throwing every visual and story-telling technique he can at you to give us a unique cinematic experience.

The art theft is pulled off perfectly, except that the painting itself goes missing when Simon loses his memory after being hit on the head during the robbery and now can’t remember where he hid it.

Filmed simultaneously while producing the opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics in England last year, Trance has a way of engaging its audience with an exciting mix of dynamic digital photography and hip Euro-trance club music that drives the story, giving it a heightened euphoric rush. Besides the trance like state our anti-hero finds himself floating in and out of, the title Trance also refers to a style of house music made popular in Germany that’s known for its fast upbeat, repetitive electronic dance rhythms.

With the help of a sexy female hypnotherapist, played by the stunning Rosario Dawson, who was also seen in Unstoppable (2010), Simon begins to reach into the recesses of his brain to put some of the missing pieces of his past together, but it seems to leaves him even more confused about his identity and what happened to him.

Just when you think you might have a handle on what’s happening, the movie does a Sixth Sense (1999), where you don’t know who did what and characters are not who you think they are. There are subtle clues throughout but the film is so entertaining that the audience won’t know what hit them until the very end.

When Simon becomes intimately involved with his therapist, the mystery finally begins to unravel while exposing the fragile nature of identity and the power of hypnosis. It’s an intriguing hallucinogenic exercise that messes with our minds, as we the audience are also kept guessing until the shocking end. 

Shot in locations that mix modern and classic architecture around London, England, this intense, stylish crime drama washes over you like a wave of rapid colorful rhythms that successfully integrate classic film noir images with state-of-the-art technology. 

Don’t miss this visually stunning treat for the eyes and ears as well as the mind. 



Susan Cooper said...

WOW, does that sound interesting or what. I alway enjoy something that is interesting and visual at that same time. :-).

Candace M. Braddock said...

This was an awesome review of this movie!! I am now adding it to my List!

Anonymous said...

What wild ride, sounds like a great movie and certainly one I'd like to see.

MK Slagel said...

I like how many twists this film seems to have and the way you described the visuals. This is definitely something I would be interested in. Thank you for sharing.

KWade said...

You had me at Memento and Fight Club. I've never heard of this movie before but the way you describe it here sounds really interesting.