Saturday, April 13, 2013


I have been absent from the theater recently, but I contribute that mostly to the lack of quality options available.  A film from Danny Boyle is enough to bring me back as I have been a fan ever since "Trainspotting" (1996) and his last two films "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008) and "127 Hours" (2010) have helped with my appreciation of what cinema can be.  "Trance" operates on a neo-noir and almost a sci-fi level that is reminescent of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004).  The film brings Danny Boyle back to work with his friend John Hodge who adapated the script from the 2001 TV movie created by Joe Ahearne. 

The film starts with art auctioneer Simon (James McAvoy) having a conversation with the audience about the business side of an auction house, the risks that are involved, and how the proper training can prevent an incident from escalating.  He also reminds us that we should not be a hero as the value of a life is greater than any piece of art.  This is until Simon is confronted by Frank (Vincent Cassel), an art thief with an eye for a treasured 18th century Francisco Goya painting "Witches in the Air".  When Simon tries to be a hero he is struck in the head and suffers from memory loss of the events that followed.  Soon Frank realizes that he has been crossed he goes after Simon to recover the painting even though he has no recollection of what he did with the painting.  Franck reluctantly agrees to let hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) try and pinpoint its location, but the deeper Elizabeth probes into Simon's subconscious, the more complex the mystery seems to grow causing the audience to question what is real and what isn't. 

Danny Boyle employs all of the traditional elements of a noir film that all contribute to the kinetic thriller that pushes the audience further into the subconscious.  The darkness of the film is complemented by the amazing camera angles and soundtrack.  The performance from James McAvoy is brilliant as his character comes into itself with the layers of his memory unraveling around him.  Rosario Dawson is at her best and exposes herself fully to the story from an emotional level that only someone with her strength can accomplish.  Vincent Cassel is an amazing foil to James McAvoy and is used in so many ways that where he finds himself at the end of the film is a decision difficult for everyone to choose. 

The thinly written script has so much more than most of the films in the theater right now.  The story doesn't hide from itself and the stylish effects of the film lend to the suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out what is happening in the story while it unfolds.  I really hope that this film reecives the same level of appreciation as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" did as it is equally deserving of a screenplay nomination and is every bit the 5 Quack film that I wanted it to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...