Simon, a fine art auctioneer, has recently came into a tremendous amount of debt thanks to his gambling addiction. In an effort to clear these debts, Simon teams up with a criminal gang to steal a Goya painting estimated to be worth over 25 million pounds. While the initial heist seems like a success, Simon suffers a blow to head which leads to a loss of memory including where he stashed the painting. After torture and threats of even more extreme violence fail, the gang's leader Frank hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb to try and find the location of the hidden painting locked somewhere in Simon's psyche. Danny Boyle's Trance is a film that attempts to confuse the viewer and blur the lines between truth, suggestion and deceit. The film does a good job at keeping the viewer interested and guessing throughout the running time, taking its time to reveal meaningful details in organic ways not driven by what the narrative deems necessary. In a way Trance could be described as having a disjointed point-of-view as it becomes increasingly confusing as to what is truth and deception in Simon's broken subconscious. Boyle's hyper-kinetic style is certainly prevalent throughout Trance with lots of unique compositions and camera angles that effectively disorient the viewer, really bringing the viewer into this disjointed point-of-view and letting them experience it themselves. While there is much to like in this dreamy atmosphere of Trance when Boyle finally reveals what is going on to the viewer I felt more cheated than fairly tricked. It's an interesting deceit but the film doesn't give the viewer nearly enough with this quazi "twist" ending for anyone to truthfully and honestly see it coming. While Danny Boyle's film is trippy and interesting, I feel he missed the mark at delivering something intellectually stimulated, opting more for a cheap parlor trick.
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