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TRANCE

TRANCE

Trance is a remake of a little-seen
British TV movie from 2001 written and directed by Joe Ahearne. Danny Boyle’s
remake makes me want to see the original, because while the new film starts out
great, and seems to have the makings of a first-rate thriller, it doesn’t end
up that way.

James McAvoy
works at a high-end London auction house, and gets involved with a sinister art
thief played by Vincent Cassel and a sexy hypnotherapist, played by Rosario
Dawson. A daring theft sets the serpentine story in motion, but Trance doesn’t know when to quit. After
a great opening sequence that hooks you right away, it asks you to buy into a
chain of increasingly improbable events. Then, at the climax, it reveals layers
of information it has deliberately withheld, causing you to rethink your
impression of everything that’s come before. I felt as if I’d been jerked
around, and I didn’t like it.

It’s one
thing to string your viewers along and then pull a surprise, even multiple
surprises, but not when you’ve broken faith with them along the way. We know
something isn’t kosher; we just don’t know what it is, exactly, and neither do
some of the characters in the story.

Instead of
admiring the ingenuity of the writers at the end, I felt cheated, misled,
snookered. Too bad. This had the makings of a really good thriller. Writer John
Hodge and Danny Boyle made their reputations together more than twenty years
ago with the movies Shallow Grave and
Trainspotting. This one isn’t in
their league.

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Comments

Jeffrey

To retract some of what I said, this film is not a bitter disappointment. The closing stages of the film might leave you perplexed and frustrated, but this film is not terrible. Perhaps a little tinkering here and there would have done the job. My reaction remains mixed, but not rueful about seeing it.

Jeffrey

I'm afraid he's right. The film is not that good. In the beginning, I was thinking "This is so cool!". But by the end, I was thinking "This is such bull****!". This film has a watershed of developments toward the end, and yet it still might leave you unsatisfied. Oh well.

Jeffrey

"Shallow Grave" and "Trainspotting" both got released a little less than 20 years ago. Don't make me feel older than I am.

joe

"Then, at the climax, it reveals layers of information it has deliberately withheld, causing you to rethink your impression of everything that’s come before." … also known as a "twist". Pretty common thing in thrillers.

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