Before We Saw the Trailer, We Thought: Following Danny Boyle’s celebrated opening of the London Olympics and prestige work on “127 Hours” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” the Oscar-winner’s newest film “Trance” seemed, on paper, like a refreshing throwback to the paranoid thrillers that put him on the map (“Shallow Grave,” “The Beach” and “28 Days Later”).
And Now? The recently released trailer for the Fox Searchlight release (it opens in the UK March 27; a U.S. release date has yet to be announced) pretty much confirms that that’s the case. Violent, frenetic, fast-paced and extremely colorful (even by Boyle’s standards), “Trance” seems like a pulpy diversion sure to appeal to fans of the filmmaker’s less-mainstream earlier efforts.
Opening rather gently to James McAvoy’s ever-welcome face, a soothing track courtesy of Underwold’s Rick Smith and an entrancing shot of a very green countryside, the trailer soon gives way to the plot’s twisted nature at the 30-second mark.
After successfully stealing an expensive piece of art, McAvoy suffers a severe blow to the head courtesy of a motley crew of gansters (led by one very sinister-looking Vincent Cassel) who want the painting for themselves. Unlucky for them, the punch leaves McAvoy’s disoriented and unable to remember where he placed the stolen item. Enter Rosario Dawson as a hypnotherapist employed by Cassel to help McAvoy retrace his steps.
Once what little of the plot the trailer gives away is established, the preview grows increasingly unhinged via split screens, rapid-fire cuts and a lot of yelling, to convey the film’s manic and — we’re guessing — unpredictable nature.
In an age where the bulk of trailers give away most of the plot before we’ve even had a chance to lay our eyes on the whole prize, the preview for “Trance” does an admirable job of conveying the tone Boyle seems to be going for, while remaining entrancingly enigmatic.