Trance is the new film from Danny Boyle, the visionary British director behind Sunshine, 28 Days Later, 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire and is a decidedly more genre orientated affair. It’s been a while since Boyle has returned to his roots of making small genre focused pieces, what with all of the recent fanfare behind his last two films being Oscar hits and his successful and striking Olympic opening gambit – the man can pretty much do what he wants at this point and it’s decidedly fresh that he’s chosen a small, psychedelic crime caper.
Trance features the always dependable James McAvoy as central character Simon, a fine art auctioneer, who teams up with a dangerous criminal gang to steal a Goya painting worth millions of dollars. Unfortunately, during the heist he suffers a nasty blow to the head, causing him to lose his memory of where he hid the painting. The gang resorts to torture and physical threats in an attempt to pry the information from him, but it really seems that he has genuinely forgotten where the painting is. The gang’s leader Frank (played by the incredible French actor, Vincent Cassel), tries an alternate method by hiring sultry hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (a smouldering Rosario Dawson), to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon’s psyche. As his subconscious begins to unravel, the line between truth, suggestion and deceit begin to blur.
It’s a pretty novel, if not exactly original concept, but as identifiable from the poster; in the hands of a director like Boyle it’s clear that this will be a highly kinetic, wild and interesting feature. A lot of the stylish flourishes associated with this piece and the marketing remind me of the heady work of Gaspar Noe, a notorious French independent filmmaker who is renowned and feared for his ability of never shying away from the extreme. If you have a strong stomach I would highly recommend seeking out his most infamous feature films; Irreversible and Enter The Void, both of them phenomnenal and haunting, macabre classics.
If Boyle is taking notes from the work of Noe that can only be a good thing. For the purpose of comparison, the last time a more mainstream director took notes from Noe was Danish oddball Nicholas Windig Refn who delivered the terrific Ryan Gosling vehicle, Drive, that garnered a surprisingly wide variety of praise, despite its more potentially mainstream audience alienating features.
Below is the red band trailer for Trance, which features glimpses of some of the more graphic parts of the film, as well as some of the more sexual. It also showcases the fast pace that the film will undoubtedly employ and the fact that our heads will most likely be messed with as much of Simon’s, in what promises to be a slippery, enthralling and twisting thriller. The final moment of the trailer is devilishly funny once the initial moment of shock has subsided. That’s all I’ll say about it! Warning: This trailer is not safe for work.
Trance will be released in theatres on April 5th, 2013.