Sunday, September 8, 2013

TRANCE (2013)

Directed By: Danny Boyle 
Written By: John Hodge & Joe Ahearne 
Cinematography By: Anthony Dod Mantle 
Editor: Jon Harris 

 Cast: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel

I am glad the film gives Rosario Dawson a vital role. A role she rarely if ever gets to play usually as it is to her strengths. Though the perimeters of the character make her come off as cold and distant. It works with the overall direction of her character and reminds one of the femme-fatales of Alfred Hitchcock films. Though she is only in a supporting role this film feels devoted to her. Like she is the true star and the film tries to show her in all her strengths and make her look like a goddess which it achieves and I have personally seen for years as she is usually Better then the films she appears In. Yet never seems to get that role that will truly help her career take off like it should have by now. She has the looks and talent. It feels dedicated to her.

Scarlett Johansson, Mélanie Thierry, Eva Green and Zoe Saldana were considered for the role that went to Rosario Dawson.

There is even a nude scene in the film which I am thankful for, but like a lot of visuals in the film it comes out of nowhere and while there is a reason for it, It still feels strange. The film goes for the surreal to make the audience lie the lead feel off center and question the things that it is shown never fully knowing is it real or in his head. So we are constantly wondering if we are in reality or in a dream.

Speaking of Hitchcock this film feels like a more modern homage to his films. And would be a entirely successful one If not for certain aspects. This is no slice of life but a thriller for an audience that thinks it has it all figured out.

Coming off back to back acclaimed films. This seems like director Danny Boyle looking to have fun with more straight forward genre film with a more technological twist with modern architecture allowing him to create a certain world and drain within the film, that is reality, but a certain reality. While the film stays in a certain rarified artistic style and design it's not afraid to get it's hands dirty.

The film constantly throws you off and seems to make it hard half the time to tell when or if certain things are happening if they are fantasy, memory or real and if it is happening now or a flash forward that does make the film trippy a bit also hard to understand at times. It also revels in Boyle’s trademark Surrealistic images. I applaud Danny Boyle for putting his personal stamp on a mainstream thriller, but at times it leaves the viewer as disoriented as it's protagonist of that is what is intended great of not it's a problem.

The film also lacks a certain passion, here is a idiom and drive on display, but the filmmaking seems more set to dazzle and trick the audience.


The third act is where the film comes alive and makes you question and examine everything you have seen hat came before it. What I truly respect is that it's sleight of hand makes us question and switch our thoughts of the characters and we automatically put our alliegence with characters we had previously hated. Like a well played three card Monty game we never see the switch coming.

Spoiler End

The plot twist seems a little far fetched but is kind of compelling in itself as far as it's intention as their forbidden romance started passionate then he became obsessive and abusive and at first she hypnotized him o slowly forget her, then she realizes she is owed for her pain and suffering and leaves a suggestion that he will steal this one of a kind painting no matter what the consequences for her. Though he doesn't know it's for her just for someone and he becomes the knight in shining armor she always wanted and who he started out being when they first met. The only thing that keeps it from being poetic is the fact that it claims so many victims only one innocent.

It seems to be a plot point to show the disillusionment that exists in modern day romance. One that is supposed to be full of passion as it crosses boundaries a forbidden love that is worth breaking the rules as it will pay off. The man who loves me unconditionally , who loves so much you become his obsession and if you don't behave in a manor that he has idealized you into or you disappoint him he takes it out on you and also since he loves you so much he figures others will feel the same way so any male you are around is trying to seduce you and you won't be able to recognize or resist them. It's supposed to be chivalry but that seems to be dead everything comes at a price even true love. So as she was Burned by it. She is going to make sure she gets something outbid it her share so to speak. In the process she falls for someone else another man she can't trust but this time it will go by her rules. She is ultimately on charge the new ice queen femme-fatale not totally bad, but with questionable ethics and motives.

It becomes scary how unhinged he becomes by the end of the film yet still love struck.

It's a shame as this film and NOW YOU SEE IT were made and came out at the same time. I thought this would be he hit and the quality film. It seems this is the more experimental one that I applaud for challenging the audiences perception and truly asks them to think as they watch and encounter The film.

The film seems almost lost as it tries to make itself as slick and empty as it’s modern style designs and atmosphere.

I only wish I could have enjoyed he film more I respect it more then I can honestly say I enjoyed it. Danny Boyle is one of my favorite modern filmmakers. He is always introducing a new vision to no matter what material he encounters. Though I will say this is his most disappointing movie to me. Even more then A LIFE LESS ORDINARY.

There is a scene in the third act which is especially puzzling as the film presents but never fully comments whether certain characters are attempting to rape someone or if she is in on it. The way it is presented is sloppy and makes you question things you have seen as it fits in to either scenario with proper sense.

Filmed during a break in Danny Boyle's two-year preparation schedule for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The film was edited after the Olympics wrapped.

James McAvoy does well with his character, but through no fault of his own I kept seeing shades of past Boyle muse Ewan McGregor in his prime in the role. Like a look alike stand in for him. Though he has the most difficult role. Whose whole backstory is heartbreaking and a novel in of itself.

Vincent Cassel can do no wrong in my eyes and takes his role with a certain reputation of past roles playing the villain and imposing and Truly gives his Character and off center tone as truly as the audience learns more as soon as he does also.

Michael Fassbender was cast as Franck but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Colin Firth was briefly considered for the part before Vincent Cassel was cast.

Though not entirely my cup of tea i would still recommend. This film for lost audiences admit is challenging and fun. Though at times feels claustrophobic and small scale. Strangely it is the rare time I will say it has a more English sensibility then American, but then again look who is behind the camera.


1 comment:

  1. yes, the unfortunate thing for me is that certain reveals in the third act leave me questioning whether the movie tracks from the beginning. Certain things don't make any sense to me now in hindsight. I liked the first half of it, but I respect the movie more than I liked it ultimately. At first I thought I was keeping ahead of it (I knew pretty quickly the heist in the beginning had to be an inside job), but nothing can prepare you for where the story goes.

    If you want to see Rosario Dawson's shaven pudenda this movie is for you. Otherwise, hard to say. (glad the nudity was plot-related though.)