Pulling together a stellar cast with an intricate and intelligent tale of a heist gone wrong, Danny Boyle once again proves himself to be the leading force in British film making and a national treasure in terms of making Britain look classy, stylish and very VERY cool.
Trance follows the story of an art auctioneer Simon (James McAvoy) who finds himself entangled in a complicated web with a group of criminals when he agrees to help steal a multi-million pound painting, in exchange for them clearing his soaring gambling debts. Unfortunately the heist doesn’t go quite to plan, the painting is mis-laid and the only solution to finding it is through hypnotherapy.
The poster for the film displays its intricacies perfectly, Trance is a carefully woven puzzle that cleverly unravels as the film progresses. You have to be alert to watch it as there is so much going on, but it’s a highly enjoyable watch which is fast paced, beautifully shot and engaging from its opening run-through of the auction house security procedure, innocently narrated by McAvoy, through to its explosive ending.
The cast compliment each other exceptionally well. James McAvoy is fast securing himself as the UK’s strongest acting export with a wide variety of roles under his belt over the last few years, and a fantastic array of films out this year including Welcome to the Punch and Filth. It’s his journey that you follow throughout, as he manages to portray the naivety of an innocent man falling in with the wrong crowd brilliantly. You feel his fear towards the criminals immediately and there is a brilliant everyman likeability and acceptance to him, which you grow to trust and sympathise with throughout the film.
On the flip side you have Vincent Cassel’s Franck. A French criminal who sees the opportunity to score big with this heist and is the leader of the crime trio Simon gets caught up in. Initially he seems like the obvious bad guy, but again, there is a strange level of warmth and acceptance that you as an audience member and Elizabeth the hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson) feels towards his character, which again demonstrates that all is not necessarily as it seems.
These two characters are displayed as the classic protagonist vs villain, which is an age old route to go down in story telling – along with the love interest thrown in the middle. However bring it up to present day, and Boyles cleverly shot tongue twister of a film keeps you guessing who really is the one to trust throughout. In addition to this, Dawson’s Elizabeth the hypnotherapist, is the final piece to the puzzle, her involvement is the trigger and solution for the twists in this tale. Again, as an audience member you remain unsure whether or not she is good or bad; and her motives don’t become clear until the very end but her calming portrayal balances out the hot headed performances of the two leading men.
Trance is one of those films that shows Boyles ability as a film maker at his very best. The fantastic script by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge is brought to life using beautiful cinematography which shows both the interior and exterior shots of London as a modern and exciting place to be. The editing between flash backs, trance states and present time helps to unravels each piece of the puzzle brilliantly and gives you that sudden eureka moment at the end but leaves you continually guessing throughout.
Altogether this stylish film will no doubt have cinema-goers raving about it and so they should, its Danny Boyle back to his best with an exciting crime story told in an innovative and breathtaking way.
The film hits cinemas tomorrow – which is brilliant for all you EE customers as its EE Wednesdays which means you can get two tickets for the price of one! Bonus – find out more about that, here
Happy Film watching!