Trance

April 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Posted in 2013 | Leave a comment
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Director Danny Boyle (“Shallow Grave,” “Trainspotting,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours”) hearkens back to his earlier works with this twister of a tale that seems part “Inception,” part “The Mechinist” and part “The Spanish Prisoner.”  In the world of convoluted plots, this one is a doozy.  Simon (James McAvoy, “The Last King of Scotland,” “X-Men: First Class”) works for an art dealer and helps Franck (Vincent Cassel, both “Messrine” movies, “Black Swan”) to steal a priceless painting.  However, he has attempted to double cross Franck and has hidden the painting but, after a serious injury, he cannot remember where.  Frustrated, Franck brings in a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson, “Kids,” “Sin City”) to help Simon remember.  With me so far?  If so, you won’t be for long.  The story twists and turns as we slip in and out of Simon’s brain.  Little clues to his repressed memories pop up in flashes here and there as it becomes less and less clear to the audience when we are in a dream and when we are in reality.  As the story becomes stranger, so does the filming of it.  The movie started out with very standard cinematography and lighting but, by the end, it is all odd angles and primary colors; whole scenes are in orange or blue or red lighting.  This vividness adds to the audience disorientation and our inability to tell reality from dream.  I am sure this is Boyle’s intention, however, we might have been better served with fewer tricks.  The initial mystery had me drawn in but I was a bit exhausted by the end.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun ride and I enjoyed myself.  I just think it might have been a better film if it had spent less time trying to play with the audiences’ minds and stuck with just playing with Simon’s.

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