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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Film - Trance - Danny Boyle

Star rating - 6/10

I guess if your output is as varied and wonderful as that of Danny Boyle, you can afford a little self indulgence now and again. And the genius creator of celebrated past offerings including Slumdog Millionaire; 127 Hours; Trainspotting; Millions; Shallow Grave; 28 Days Later; not to mention the glorious Olympic Games Opening ceremony, certainly has a back catalogue to be very proud of. But with his latest film,  thriller Trance, it feels as if he has just relaxed, kicked his shoes off, and let his vivid imagination run away with him.

It a heist movie, with an unreliable narrator, and amnesia to add to the mix. James McEvoy is brilliant as Simon the man on the inside of the auction house who facilitates the theft of a Goya painting which has just moments before been sold for £25 million. But during the execution of the plan, his accomplice and mastermind of the operation Franck (Vincent Cassel) hits him over the head and he loses his memory. That's a bit unfortunate to say the least as the key things he really does need to remember is where he hid the painting. 

Enter Doctor Elizabeth Lamb, played seductively by Rosario Dawson, as the Harley Street hypnotherapist who is tasks with unlocking the secrets of his mind, without him giving away too much about his real purpose in coming to her. The set up is great, fast moving and convincing with some great London locations. But after that the plot goes haywire and what is meant to deliberately confuse and entrance the audience just ends up in a bit of an unbelievable muddle.

The acting is well done but the three protagonists, as they weave in and out of deceptions against each other. But some of the plot devices are clunky, and the suspension of disbelief is a bridge too far in many places. It's a shame as I really love Danny Boyle's work, but maybe not everything can hit its aim. 

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