Powerful and twisted thriller from the Olympic director Danny Boyle.


Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel

Budget: 20 million | Box office: 10 million (1 week)

IMDb: 7.3 | Metacritic: 60

Trance, Danny Boyle

I am a huge fan of Danny Boyle from his first attempts in offbeat criminal drama Shallow Grave and of course the seminal Trainspotting, who I watched a dozen times, some parts even more, for a cinematography essay (I can’t believe it was still done with hand on paper, would be cool to publish here). And whatever topic he would take on, be it a story about little brothers (Millions), exotic secret island, sci-fi epic, wonderful Indian tale, or even good old zombies, he always, always manages to surprise. You don’t get to direct Olympic ceremony for nothing. And now he presents, as he himself called, “the bad cousin of Olympics” – Trance.

Despite that the film’s idea already settles you for expecting the unexpected, he still manages to catch you unprepared. Of course you could read about the story, glimpse more of what happens behind the plot to steal an expensive painting from the auction and then by using hypnosis to find out where the guy who stole it put it. But of course it would be a really bad idea to do that. You just have to trust him to carry you through many bends and twists of this trainwreck trip, and though in few episodes it seems that Boyle has overdone it and you can foresee what’s coming, eventually the result is quite dramatic, shattering even. And here it plays not only with a persons mind, but more with the feelings, the full scale of emotions going to the very extremes.

Boyle collected a great team for this task, the main trio of actors whose any movie I would watch without a doubt. Vincent Cassel is no compromise criminal (at least at first), whose presence and the general mood of the movie made me think of Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible and Enter The Void. Somehow I imagined that movie to be like Trance, more powerful, fast and aggressive. Rosario Dawson I follow from her horrifying teenage debut in Kids and here she caught even the director himself with her stark charm. But the heaviest task is for the center figure of James McAvoy, who really does a great job coping with all these emotions, acts and literally becomes a different person. Another great role in a growing list of cool and varied movies.

Last but not least is the music. I wonder why not so many directors, even the great ones, pay more attention to the soundtrack of the film. Boyle has always been my favorite especially in this area and Trance is high up with Drive from latest bright memories. Unkle, Moby, M People songs and rest of the tracks created by Boyle’s longtime collaborator composer Rick Smith provides a great atmosphere and pace for this wild, emotional, mentally and physically cruel chase. Trance is really a must see!

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