Trance (2013)


I’ve seen Trance twice in cinema by now and am really contemplating a third time.1 It tickles my psychology sense and my mental illness2 sense and satisfies my craving for aestethics. The first time I left the cinema, I couldn’t breathe – literally. The complicated plot finally got to me (after the second screening I found out I’d interpreted half of the stuff in a wrong way, sure, but it was still awestrucking at that moment). It was kind of unbelievable that someone (Danny Boyle, I am deeply into you) could put something like that together.

Now, this was the first film I saw after Oblivion and the thought that it had abundant twists seems ridiculous after Trance because post the rather slow (but enjoyable) beginning, it was one twist after another. There were a myriad of them: the perspective changed, the good ones turned into the bad ones and vice versa; the mood and the tones were changing constantly, the pacing as well; some images, fragments of what had been, kept repeating and managed to say something new each time. It was especially powerful because it all tied together: even the acting was spot on, very much so on James McAvoy’s and Vincent Cassel’s part. Trence isn’t just a complex idea with wicked visuals. Everything works.3

There were few things I’d predicted and they were all in the beginning. Each new development came as a surprise. I haven’t seen a film so consuming for ages. It was tiring but well-worth the headache over it. A myriad of things seemed different on the second watch and I was, frankly, unsure what to believe – and still am. One thing I know for sure, though: it’s a film I’ll see again and again until I’ve memorised it.

And to illustrate, we’re finishing with some top notch styleporn today:


1 and then buying the DVD.
2 by that, I mean the references to it throughout the film. I know amnesia’s not one. Guys. Really.
3 okay, one exception: Rosario Dawson’s naked scene was utterly unnecessary.

20 responses to “Trance (2013)

  1. A Rosario Dawson naked scene is never unnecessary! Great review, I like a film with loads of surprises

  2. Good review Elena. It’s not Boyle’s best, but definitely one of his most fun and entertaining pics in recent time.

  3. Excellent post, I’m considering seeing this.

  4. Great post! I enjoyed this one too. Rosario Dawson’s naked scene kind of baffled me. Like, a major point in that movie was really about Elizabeth’s vagina. That’s a little weird.

    • You’re very kind! The scene baffled me as well and made me uncomfortable, to be honest. (Naked scenes in the cinema with my dad… uhm…)

  5. Wow, amazing post! This really gets me excited to see it!

  6. Love this quote!!!
    “It tickles my psychology sense and my mental illness sense and satisfies my craving for aestethics.”

    Great review Elena, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see this but now I’m convinced I need to.

  7. I really wanted to see this again after the first time, just to piece things together but I never made it back out to the theater. It might not be one of Boyle’s best, but it’s still Boyle so of course it was pretty great.

    • I didn’t think I would either but there was nothing on and we had hours to kill so I finally did. Though I think it’s a good one, no matter if seen once or twice. 😛

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  9. Wow, that’s interesting how much this film got to you Elena, I’m more intrigued about it now. I think I’d share your sentiment about Dawson’s nudity, most of the time it’s always gratuitous as I’d think we’d still get the point across otherwise.

    I love McAvoy and sounds like it’s a different role than what I’ve seen him do so far. Great review!

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  11. I enjoyed Trance, and you definitely make some interesting points.

    It is Rosario Dawson who stands out playing the most complex and interesting character out of the bunch resulting in an excellent performance by the actress. Her hypnotherapist Elizabeth is beautifully acted; at first elegant and controlled but her facial twitches suggest that there is a lot more to her – a hidden strength that is not to be messed with.

    • Sorry for the very–very late reply, but I just found this comment.

      First, thank you! Secondly, I wasn’t impressed by her before the big twist but I was absolutely captivated with her after that and on the second viewing. You’re very right on her expressions, too. I was really impressed. Still am.

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