Starts not so good, ends great.
In the first few seconds of the trailer for 'Trance' you get that sinking feeling. The actors have that 'look, we're in a movie' vibe, camera is generic, setup is a tad dusty. This only gets worse once the premise is fully disclosed: Some guy (James McAvoy) knows where a stolen painting is hidden. The thief (Vincent Cassel) wants to know where it is. Problem is, McAvoy can't remember due to a head injury. Enter hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) to pick the locks and get the data.
Okay, fine. Sounds like a TV show plot. At this point, however, the trailer starts to change and it's almost as if it's pitching a different movie, like a prestige film, a suspense thriller directed by a craftsman. It crept up on me and I didn't even realize it until later. I was spellbound.
And, that craftsman? That would be Danny Boyle, who could make the phone book seem like a page-turner. Imagery had become dynamic and bold, acting had gone from technique-y to invisible, characters attained depth and substance, and the story had sprung to life. In the space of a few seconds 'Trance' had gone from rent-maybe to see-absolutely.
'Trance' is written by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge. Ahearne writes for TV and could be quite good, but I wouldn't know since I don't watch TV. Hodge, however, wrote Boyle's first feature, 'Shallow Grave' (as well as 'Trainspotting'), and it's a gem. An excellent character-driven suspense thriller. 'Shallow Grave' is the rare ensemble piece that has propulsion even when very little is going on. Everyday moments are laced with a sense of dread and/or comedy and there is a palpable thread of suspense throughout. The movie seems alive. It's very entertaining. If you haven't seen it, do.
Between the writers' conjuring and the director's rendering 'Trance' is looking very nice indeed.
So, I have to conclude, despite the by-the-numbers way the trailer starts, this movie is must-see. Apologies in advance, but by the end of this trailer I found 'Trance' hypnotic.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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