"The choice is yours. Do you want to remember or do you want to forget?"
I choose to forget all about Trance because I was really disappointed by this Danny Boyle film. It isn't a terrible movie, but it is Boyle's worst film since 1997's A Life Less Ordinary. After making some great films like 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Slumdog Millionaire this film felt way out of his league. He was probably too busy planning the Olympic ceremonies and didn't give much dedication to this project which had a lot of style but no story. One of the reasons I didn't like this film is because I felt all the twists were kind of bland and they got tedious after a while. I felt kind of like the same way I felt with Now You See Me where they use hypnosis as an excuse to justify the twists and mix dreams with reality. The film didn't make much sense and some twists really didn't work for me. It is a shame because I did like the cast and thought they gave some strong performances despite the weak and lazy script written by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge. Trance had its moments, but it was all generic material that we've seen before, and the over stylized scenes weren't enough for me to recommend this film. I felt like there was no substance to this movie and I was completely detached to everything that was going on.
The film is narrated by Simon (James McAvoy), an art auctioner of very expensive and classical art pierces. During one of the auctions a heist takes place and he takes a blow to the head from Franck (Vincent Cassel), one of the four thieves involved in the heist. When he wakes up from the head injury he can't remember what happened, but apparently he hid the painting that the thieves were looking for. Franck and his crew torture Simon, who apparently was in on the heist as well, in order for him to tell them what he did with the painting, but it's useless because he really can't remember. That is where Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) comes is. She's a hypnotherapist who begins treating Simon in order for him to remember where he hid the lost painting. The film is full of twists and double crossings but it is best to go into the movie knowing as little as possible.
Trance may stand out from other movies of the genre thanks to its style and cinematography, but what it has in style it lacks in substance. The twists didn't work for me either and in a thriller like this it is a must. The film began with promise but ultimately I didn't like the direction it began to take halfway through the movie. The cast in this film was pretty solid. McAvoy was great as usual and his breakdown was really believable on screen. Dawson was beautiful and sort of plays the femme fatale here to perfection. Cassel was also pretty good although his character didn't have much substance to him. Ultimately the film suffers from a weak script and an overdose of twists and turns that become tedious and a little unbelievable after a while. Skip this movie!