Every year there are those films that instantly stand out. Often, some of the bigger films get a lot of buzz and excitement before they even come out. Others are underdogs, biding their time until they do
exceptionally well at the box office.
Danny Boyle is known for the latter. No one could have predicted the worldwide success of Slumdog Millionaire. The trailer for his latest film, Trance, suggests something of a similar nature. On paper, Trance seems like an ordinary film with a unique twist. On screen, this translates to a unique film that is equally artistic, gritty and perfectly suited to the British director’s style.
It’s the unique genre and themes that arguably make Trance so exciting. At its base plot, it’s a simple ‘heist gone wrong’ storyline. A theft goes wrong, and a stolen painting is lost. Yet it’s also a psychological thriller. The protagonist, played by James McAvoy, is the auctioneer who knows where it’s hidden, but has forgotten due to head trauma. This leads to the introduction of Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), as a hypnotherapist tasked with uncovering forgotten memories.
The trailer sets this up perfectly, in a way that only a renowned director such as Boyle can pull of successfully. Comparing it to recent movies, think of something like a cross between RocknRolla and Limitless. One was a typical gangster film, the other explored human nature and the human brain. Judging by the exciting and engaging trailer, Trance seems to be the best parts of both.
So why is this so exciting? If you’ve seen any number of psychological thrillers and gangster films, you probably have noticed a number of patterns and repetition in them. Both need some new life and both do this by breathing unique aspects into the other through Trance.
What’s been shown so far certainly seems to highlight this. Psychological films tease information out, often turning situations on their head. There’s never a defined ‘right’ or ‘wrong’; that’s why films like Memento prove so popular. Taking this approach into a crime or heist film, where such morals are typically more defined, opens up so many possibilities. Trance plays around a three way power struggle between Simon (James McAvoy), Elizabeth and Franck (Vincent Cassel).
Of course, the only way to tell is to watch the end results. Will it be worth it? We’ll find out when Trance opens wide on the 27th.