Film review: Trance (15)
No one to trust in Boyle's heist-stakes game
Friday 29 March 2013
Danny Boyle's flashy new thriller begins with an art heist, set to a pulse- quickening techno score by one of his regular collaborators, Rick Smith of Underworld.
Fans of Boyle's debut film, the devious 1994 three-hander Shallow Grave, will immediately feel at home. The heist is an inside job facilitated by Simon (James McAvoy), an auctioneer with gambling debts. But things do not go according to plan: Simon sustains a head injury causing amnesia, and the film's McGuffin – a Goya painting – goes missing.
If the gang's leader Franck (Vincent Cassel) wants to discover the painting's whereabouts, he'll need sexy hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) to coax her way into Simon's subconscious.
The action is bathed in neon light, filmed at surprising angles and in reflective surfaces. It unfolds according to a dream-state logic, and the narrative is at least as untrustworthy as its characters. It takes liberties with psychiatric medicine, and plays with ontological ideas about the self and free-will. But it is only playing.
When in this kind of form, Boyle could film an adaptation of the proverbial phone book and make it sexy and kinetic. If Trance has a problem, it's just that it is so shallow and slippery that we don't know who to root for.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
This little boy loves books so much that he cries when his mother stops reading to him
Prog rock finally comes of age with launch of the first Official Progressive Chart
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up