There’s nothing I love more than a movie that blows my mind. Too often I’m forced to sit in front of films that offer no other challenge than to stay awake until the end credits. Leave it to any film by director Danny Boyle to keep me on my toes, both physically and mentally.
“Trance” stars James McAvoy as an art thief intent on pilfering a Goya painting right off the auction block. Everything goes like clockwork until he is accidentally injured by his partner in crime, played by Vincent Cassel. The injury causes memory loss and in the end he is unable to remember where he hid the multi-million dollar portrait. Enter Rosario Dawson as a hypnotherapist who believes she can help restore his memory and ultimately, find the prize.
I have now watched “Trance” twice and am still amazed by the way Boyle is able to take what would normally be your run of the mill ‘art heist’ film and turns it on its ear. It is so full of plot twists, red herrings and non-linear storytelling that your brain is forced to remain alert throughout every single frame lest you miss something. Beyond what I’m telling you here, it would be a disservice to tell you any more about the plot. The less prepared you are for what you are watching the better the experience.
Performances thought out are top notch by all of the three main leads. McAvoy proves that he can create a character that is not only multi-dimensional, but whose very demeanor is changed by the re-introduction of memories. Cassel is as brilliant as always, and Dawson’s portrayal of the cool and clear headed hypnotherapist almost put me in a trance. (And yes, that’s a compliment.)
The Bluray release offers a crystal clear visual experience with vibrant colors and no discernible digital noise. The soundtrack, which includes an impressive electronic score by Rick Smith, is well balanced allowing for clear, easy to understand dialogue.
You’ll find a handful of special features, including a few deleted scenes, a retrospective of Danny Boyle films and a fascinating short film by Spencer Susser. Additionally, there is a great 4 part ‘Making of’ featurettes and an Easter Egg (Trance Unravelled).
“Trance is an excellent film if you like to have your brain tested. You have to pause it if you plan to run to the kitchen for a drink, you can’t miss anything or you’ll miss something.
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Starring: James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson
Extras: The Power of Suggestion; Danny Boyle Retrospective; Short Film – “Eugene” by Spencer Susser; Deleted Scenes
Release Date: 7/23/2013
MPAA Rating: R