Film Review – Trance (2013)


Title – Trance (2013)

Director – Danny Boyle (Sunshine)

Cast – James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson

Plot – Auction house worker Simon (McAvoy) gets a bad bout of amnesia after a brazen day light robbery takes place by a gang lead by Franck (Cassel). During the robbery Simon misplaced a painting that the robbers who he was actually working with want badly. Desperate times call for desperate measures and the gang call on the services of hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Dawson) to help, leading everyone on a mind trip of reality and fiction.

“We keep secrets from ourselves and call it ‘forgetting’.”

Review by Eddie on16/09/2013

Oh Danny boy, the pipes the pipes of humdrum are calling. Trance unfortunately represents yet another “meh” effort by the once electrifying and almost unfailingly good Danny Boyle, an effort that was duly rewarded with a uncaring critical reception and a unwilling to pay public box office figures. If you dig deeper into the effort presented here you could go as far as calling it borderline incoherent and a movie more interested in Dutch tilts and out-dated techno music than creating memorable characters or a believable plot.

Trance tries to outsmart its audience with a flashy frenetic production design not unlike Boyles much more superior films such as Trainspotting or the hugely overrated Bollywood riff slop bucket that was Slumdog Millionaire (seriously does anyone ever talk about or remember this Best Picture winner?) but in the end any viewer with half a mind centred on the story will realises there is not much meat on this thrillers dry bones.

James McAvoy gives one of his more forgettable performances as unlikeable lead Simon while Cassel is given nothing more than a nice suit as bad guy Franck. Rosario Dawson seems to get the bulk of the decent work here but that might just be because she was willing to disrobe on a few occasions in some of the films more “bare” scenes. Boyle has always been a reliable hand on coaxing great performances from his actors, just looks at McGregor in Trainspotting or Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later for examples of this skill, so it’s sad to see Trance filled with so many wasted opportunities in regards to acting showpieces.

It’s clear from Trance that Boyle wanted the film to be the new age Fight Club of heist movies or a rift of his past and better work. All I got from Trance is a wish that Boyle can lay low until the next Olympics are on or that I to could find myself getting wailed over the head with the butt of a shotgun like Simon did and forget this whole horrible, over complicated pretty mess.

1 and a half misplaced paintings out of 5

17 responses to “Film Review – Trance (2013)

      • I can totally get on board with those feelings. Boyle has put out far better, the narrative here was annoyingly and overly complicated, and a bit melodramatic when it needn’t be.

  1. Nice review. Not Boyle’s best movie, but definitely the most fun he seems to have had with a movie in awhile. That’s definitely saying something, too.

      • It did, but it also seemed like Boyle just wanted to make a movie, because, well, he could. Let’s hope his next one has more heart and emotion added into it like 127 Hours or Slumdog Millionaire. Lets hope.

      • I think he can still come back to us the man he once was – I want him to hard back to those “fun” days when he came out with the great Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. I think for me his pinnacle will always be the oft forgotten Sunshine.

      • Hey, I haven’t forgotten about it! I liked it, however, I do think that was a bit of him getting into his own head slightly too much. However, it was ambitious, and that’s not really a bad thing to say about a Boyle film. The guy can practically do it all, even at one time.

  2. Ha ha not hit over the head. Boyle was an icon of talent in my eyes until this mind train to La la land arrived. Still he made Trainspotting, he gets one more chance.

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