DVD Review: Trance


Danny Boyle‘s latest, Trance follows fine art auctioneer Simon (James McAvoy) who teams up with a group of criminal partners, led by Franck (Vincent Cassel) to steal a Goya painting worth millions of dollars. After suffering a blow to the head during the heist, however, Simon awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting. With the help of hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), the darkest recesses of Simon’s psyche are delved in to, but as Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon’s broken subconscious, the lines between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur.

An intelligent and stylish thriller, Trance messes with your head for 100 minutes straight.

I don’t always like a thriller that gets me lost, and I did have to think about what I’d seen after watching it, but this time around I enjoyed getting lost in the mystery (or losing myself in the trance, should I say), never knowing what to expect with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very last minute.

Most of all, I love Boyle’s film-making qualities. His use of camera work is forever improving and his efforts suit this film perfectly. Following on from 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire, his use of colour, as well, is outstanding. The cinematography brings such an energy to his work, and whilst I agree with some of the more negative reviews that the story is dragged out for longer than needed, it’s the visual style that kept me engaged.

The cast is spot-on, as well. James McAvoy is a fantastic action/thriller lead, but his role didn’t feel like the same old character, which I thought might have become a problem. Vincent Cassel is great too, but it is Rosario Dawson who made this work so well for me (or maybe it was just because she got naked). Dawson is such a compelling actress, but she is also incredibly sexy which gave the film a whole new edge.

Trance is set to be released on DVD on 5th August.

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