Trance (2013)

Trance (2013)
  • Time: 101 min
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | Mystery
  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Cast: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel


Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a Goya painting worth millions of dollars, but after suffering a blow to the head during the heist he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting. When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang’s leader Frank (Vincent Cassel) hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon’s psyche. As Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon’s broken subconscious, the lines between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur.


  • A giant mind game of a film, combining a beautiful psychiatrist who is an expert in hypnosis, a quirky gang of thugs who’ve robbed an art auction, and one of their group who was in a car accident right after the robbery, and can’t remember where he hid the multi-million dollar painting. There are twists upon twists, and multiple levels of reality, memory and dreams going on one right after another. Sort of like ‘Inception’, but smaller, more intimate, and revolving around a heist.

    I can see why some might not like it. It (intentionally) gets outright confusing for stretches, and there are admittedly few cheats in the logic, though far fewer than most films of this type. But I had a great time; the energy is high, the photography is excellent (Boyle used multiple types of cameras and color schemes to highlight the different realities), the acting is fun, and I found myself more emotionally involved with the characters and more invested in the outcome than I expected for a ‘head-trip’ type of film. One of those rare films where I really had no idea at all how things were going to turn out – the price of a lifetime of watching too many movies! I could see the flaws, and I don’t blame you if they make you want to scream in frustration at times, but they just didn’t bother me, I was having too much fun.

  • OK let me first start by saying this will be a short review, mainly because of the fact that it’s so easy to give away too much about this film.

    Trance is Danny Boyle’s latest film, now personally I haven’t seen many of his films apart from; 127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, The Beach and Trainspotting. I liked 127 Hours mainly because it was actually based on true events, Slumdog Millionaire however was a bit too over rated for me, yes it was a good film but it was “Over Hyped” by many. The Beach and Trainspotting were both good in their own ways.

    Trance was filmed during the preparation around The Olympic Opening Ceremony but don’t let that put you off by thinking it’s a rushed and simple film because that’s far from the truth. So far this film has been getting some mixed reviews, some loved it and some hated it (a lot like marmite) but I will warn you now, this film is not a film to just sit back and watch you need to engage your brain, there will be times where you don’t know what the hell is going on, but that’s all part of the fun.

    Read full review here –

  • An intense beginning, a middle that makes you sprawl in your sofa and a finale where you’re tossed back and forth by an accumulation of twists. That’s just about the brief summary that I can make here. The visual way of conveying and the atmospheric soundtrack aren’t turning this into a real high flyer eventually.

    The various plot twists may indicate two things : a ruse to hide the weak storyline or the director himself lost it completely. Based on the article from I gamble on the second. It’s an art film. That’s indisputable. The stylized camera moves and the sometimes dazzling neon-like colors show this directly. Ultimately it’s bout the art world and the artificial manipulation of one’s consciousness through hypnosis.

    McAvoy and Dawson both deliver a strong performance. Unfortunately, I’ll remember Dawson only from her hairless “piggy bank slot”. But actually that image won’t be a reason to re-watch the movie. Simply google “Rosario Dawson nude” and you get a perfect screenshot of this fragment.

    Surprisingly, the action scenes were quite right-in-the-face aggressive and realistic. I didn’t expect that in this movie.
    I thought it was a mediocre movie eventually. And I really don’t like a movie to end up in such a way that you can view and interpret it in different ways. To me that’s like modern art. Eventually you see something you think you should see, or what someone thinks it is, using an obscure description with many expensive and intellectual expressions (annoying posturing for me).

    A work of art without a soul.

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