The question everyone has for Danny Boyle is HOW? How and when did he have time to make a film amidst Olympic preparations and promotion? The answer – the man is not normal!
While many critics have been unsure about his latest offering, Trance, there is no denying the sheer style and class of the film. With trademark monologue scenes, to-camera delivery and a fantastic soundtrack Trance certainly is a cut above most mobster/heist movies.
The psychological insecurity of all the characters is an overriding theme throughout the whole film, leaving the audience wondering who is in control and what is the ‘reality’ of the situation in which we find Simon (James McAvoy). While the dark undertones of the film creep through more and more as time goes on, Boyle has called Trance the dark cousin of Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. Leaving behind the redemptive features to focus more on the dark side of human nature.
The deterioration of the film from simple art heist to psychological thriller is intense and brilliantly paced. As the plot progresses our sympathies towards Simon slowly melt away as we see all is not as it first appeared. In contrast mob boss Franck (Vincent Cassel) changes from hard criminal to a much more complex character. This change in our perceptions of the main characters gives the film a depth that differentiates it from your run-of-the-mill mob movie. The empathetic nature of all the characters confuses the audience about how we are meant to feel about the events playing out in front of us. And as actions and motives become increasingly more uncertain, your taken deeper and deeper into a maze of reality and implanted ideas.
The performances from Cassel and McAvoy steal the show, but Rosario Dawson as Elizabeth Lamb gives an engaging performance as the catalyst of the uncertainty.
Trance is not one of Danny Boyle best films, but to compare his back catalogue is to enter a bizarre world where the normal rules of film don’t apply. From any other director this film would be a triumph, the twists and turns are reflected perfectly by the erratic, dream-like nature of the shots, but unfortunately it is likely to fall behind the likes of Trainspotting and 28 Days Later when the history of Danny Boyle is written. But as a film in it’s own right it is brilliant.
To view trailer click here.
Currently on general release in the UK.