Movie Review: Trance

Griffin Conlogue ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

James McAvoy in "Trance." Photo Credit: Cameron Cook. TM AND © 2013 FOX AND ITS RELATED ENTITIES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
James McAvoy in “Trance.” Photo Credit: Cameron Cook. TM AND © 2013 FOX AND ITS RELATED ENTITIES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Seeing Trance is quite a strange experience. The marketing for the film gives away very little to what the film is actually about, so the twist and turns of the story come out of nowhere. It is a film of beautiful composition with masterful artistic direction. Though the film is purely style over substance, it is overall an enjoyable piece of spring time cinema that is worth seeing.
Trance is the story of an art auctioneer (X-Men First Class’ James McAvoy) who hides a high valued piece of art during a robbery. Due to a brain injury sustained during the robbery, he must join forces with a hypnotherapist to find out where he hid the painting. The film has an endless amount of plot twists that leave the viewer guessing at every turn. You never really know what is real and what is a ‘trance’.
Ultimately, the ambitious plot becomes the downfall of the film. Trance is a brisk 101 minutes, but it tries to juggle too many genres. The film is a thriller, romantic drama, mind-warp, and noir film all in one. There is a bit of an identity crisis going on here. The film is fine, but more is expected from director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting). The film’s second act drags and has some issues with the pacing. Boyle was busy with planning the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics while filming was happening, so this could be an explanation for these issues.
Regardless, the beautiful cinematography, a strong performance from Black Swan’s Vincent Cassel, and spectacular first and third acts make the film worth the ticket price. The fast paced and riveting opening gives the audience some early oohs and aahs and has some witty dialogue. There is also quite a shocking ending that nobody would see coming. It is by no means the best film of the year, but it is surely a fun time at the movies.
See this if:
You like relatively intelligent action dramas with strong performances.
Don’t see this if:
You’re expecting a family friendly film. There is nudity, language, and some gruesome violence. Don’t see this if you get queasy easily.

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