Movie Review: Trance

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This isn’t your classic film noir, but director Danny Boyle has put an interesting spin on the genre with “Trance.”

James McAvoy is Simon, an art house auctioneer who becomes involved with a dangerous criminal gang in the heist of Rembrandt.  Simon is hit in the head during the robbery and develops amnesia.  He can’t remember where he put the stolen painting, honestly.  Gang leader, Franck (Vincent Cassel), of course, doesn’t believe him.  And, once Simon is out of the hospital, the gang kidnaps and tortures him.

When it becomes clear that Simon isn’t lying, Franck hires a hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) to try to learn the painting’s location without disclosing their criminal activities.  And, that’s when things really start spinning.

“Trance” will not appeal to everyone.  There are no good guys in this one.  Certainly, the audience will initially identify with McAvoy’s character.  He does seem to be the traditional protagonist.  But, be careful.  There are many, many twists.  The story is intentionally deceptive, and not every one appreciates being steered in the wrong direction.  On the other hand, maybe Simon IS the good guy.  You really won’t know until the end.

“Trance” is rated “R” in the United States, but has unusually heavy violence, sex, nudity and strong language.  Do not take the kids to this one, or you will have some explaining to do.

Danny Boyle is an acquired taste and I acquired a taste for his films decades ago.  I like “Trance.”  It was entertaining and a real mind-blower.  Grade: B