“Trance” :Hypnotic, chaotic, who-done-it

imagesJames McAvoy has a wide-eyed, boy wonder appeal.  Dressed in a nice suit with his posh accent, he stares straight out at us narrating a heist; a heist that leaves him gravely injured.  His charm draws the audience in and makes us care about his welfare.  An exciting start to a thriller that plays with your perceptions.

All three of the leads give committed and naked performances–both literally and figuratively.  It’s a rare film where full frontal nudity is used as a plot point, but this one is unique.  Rosario Dawson gives an extraordinary performance and Vincent Cassel subverts the British criminal stereotype with dry humor and an unexpected warmth.  As the man who may have lost more than his memory, Jame McAvoy exudes charm even without his fingernails.

From the heist to the hypnotist, from the secret club house at the dump, and back and forth to the three lead’s flats, not only does where the action is taking place get confusing, it’s even a challenge to know when (past or present) and even, if what just happened was imagined or real.  As the characters seem to get closer to solving the mystery, the action gets more intense and the possibility that one or more of them will be killed seems certain.  But who and by whom?

“Trance” loses it’s way in it’s own maze by the end but with a thrilling soundtrack (original music by Rick Smith), some excellent performances and a plot that plays with our perceptions; it’s a ride you’ll enjoy. Danny Boyle has mentioned that he’d like to try his hand at a musical next.  His work ranges from science fiction (“Sunshine”) to dark farce (“Shallow Grave”), from charming Irish fable (“Millions”) to the drug-fueled abandon of “Trainspotting”.  He’s the acclaimed and award-winning director of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “127 Hours”.  Danny Boyle crafted this action-packed thriller in a short break while planning the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Games in London; it’s safe to say, he’s capable of tackling any genre!

Rating: 3 glasses of wine at a posh restaurant

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