Let's not kid ourselves here, British director Daniel Boyle has a knack for crafting such wonderful movies; with Trainspotting and 127 hours to say the least. In fact, passing up the opportunity to direct Alien Resurrection back in the day was the result of quite a prolific career, saving him a destruction from followers of the Alien franchise.
This hypnotic mind bender tells the story of Simon (James McAvoy); an auctioneer who finds himself at the centre of a tug of war regarding a painting worth millions. Although Simon is involved in stealing the painting to clear a gambling depth, a sudden turn of events leaves Simon with a loss of memory, oblivious to where he left the painting - leaving criminal kingpin Frank, unimpressed.
Frank (Vincent Cassel) and his thugs are left sweating and rampaged following the robbery, questioning Simon's mischievous actions. While Frank is convinced of Simon's sudden memory loss, he is Adamant on recovering the million dollar painting, setting Simon up with Elisabeth (Rosario Dawson ); a local hypnotherapist who joins forces with Frank in order to help retrace the steps of Simon, in which they both hope will help recover the painting - leaving everyone except Simon extremely rich.
As Simon vividly explores his memory with Elisabeth, it seems that she and everyone else have a bigger part to play in this puzzle, revealing a dramatic tale of desire, obsession and greed.
James McAvoy is a joy to watch once again. Offering a low key performance originally, the character of Simon is forced to up the antics in a bid to discover the truth. On the other end of the stick is Vincent Cassel, who some might recognise from french movie La Haine. Although the screen presence of Vincent was far from convincing at first, you slowly grow to enjoy his on screen his presence (I did anyway).
Danny Boyle's latest is different in terms of its lack of comedic effort; an aspect we know all too well from his previous work. The inclusion of Rosario Dawson creates an aspect of extreme sexiness to the plot, while a showboating chemistry between herself and Cassel adds to the erotic element. Trance is far from flawless. Although Boyle knows how to construct a good movie visually, using angles of realism on the topic of hypnosis, it supplies unlimited endings, with a climax failing to break free at times, adding sequences of sheer confusion - (Hypnosis anyone?) While the movie is of average length, I felt the anticipated twist could have been wrapped up at an earlier stage. As the flashy images of past and present corrode the screen, you will find yourself piecing the dialogue together after the movie in order to realise what is actually a clever twist.
Trance is an intriguing psychological thriller with originality that will sit among Hollywood's directorial competition. Smartly shot with a topic of realism and a plot that consistently calls for your attention. Trance offers a frightening perspective on the power of hypnosis.
Overall: An Ending that failed to, well, end on occasions, the overall twist is satisfying once you get your head around it. The performance from both McAvoy and Cassel make Trance as memorable as it has been perceived thus far.