He’s an Oscar winning director, but most people know Danny Boyle for being that guy who produced the opening ceremony at the London Olympics. Now, Boyle is back in the director’s chair giving us a movie trying to mesmerize you as much as shock you as Trance is part film noir, part psychological thriller and part heist film.
James McAvoy stars as Simon – an auctioneer’s assistant at a high end house in London that specializes in rare, and very expensive art pieces. They have been practicing and preparing for any time a group of thieves tries to overrun the business and make off with the priceless treasures, and that day has come.
During the theft, Simon takes a horrible blow to the head, and he can’t remember what happened. Of course, there are several powerful figures trying to make sure he does regain that memory, so he is forced to undergo hypnotherapy.
Trance is a movie that always has you guessing as Boyle takes us through so many twists and turns you never really know what is real and what is being created by the sexy hypnotist, Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson). It takes us places visually that are nightmare-like and the story makes you wonder how far each character is willing to go for greed – whether that’s greed for money or other things.
It doesn’t hurt that we have McAvoy and Dawson at the center of it all. McAvoy might not be an acting chameleon like Daniel Day-Lewis, but he is the kind of leading man who can handle any emotion and show multiple sides to a character’s personality, which is so needed as Boyle and the writing team of Joe Ahearne and John Hodge want us to wonder what is motivating this dude and who he really is down deep inside.
Then, Dawson is so cooly in command, she kind of does the opposite of McAvoy by making her character so mysterious. You’re always wondering what her role and motivation is in all of this. Even after the movie, I was talking with some who still weren’t quite sure, which makes for a fun debate.
Trance may frustrate you a bit too much with the what-is-real aspect, but it is the most mind-boggling movie since Inception, in a good way.
Trance is rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, some grisly images, and language