Film Review: Trance



Rosario Dawson is enlisted to help an art thief’s memory

From the brains behind the Olympic opening ceremony last summer comes an intriguing psychological thriller with enough mind boggling twists and turns to leave you exiting the cinema in a bit of a trance yourself. Danny Boyle returns to familiar ground with a film that begins with an audacious art heist, of the painting Witches in the Air by Spanish artist Francisco Goya, which plays a pivotal role in the film.

One of the employees, Simon (James McAvoy), a Scottish art auctioneer is seemingly a victim in the robbery; suffering a head wound at the hands of the orchestrator of the heist Franck (Vincent Cassel), but Simon is really in cahoots with the robbers, as the money he will receive from the sale of the painting will cover large gambling debts he has built up. Ironically the blow Franck inflicted on Simon caused a state of amnesia, resulting in Simon not being able to recall where he hid the stolen painting. This forces Franck to enlist the help of hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) to jog Simon’s memory without alerting the police.

It has to be said that this film isn’t the easiest to follow, just as you think you’ve worked it all out, Simon’s vivid dreams whilst he is under hypnosis throws something new into the mix and your back to square one. The film only becomes clear towards the end with a rather long passage from Elizabeth, which may be a bit too much information for some people to process all at once.  Personally I think this is the charm of the film, not being able to harbor a guess at the potential outcome maintained my interest, and paired with the Danny Boyle’s amazing visual interruption of the screenplay, makes for a truly entertaining film.

Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Danny Sapani, James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Tuppence Middleton, Vincent Cassel
Runtime: 101 mins
Cert UK: 15

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