Danny Boyle is certainly a man of principal. When he won awards and plaudits for Slumdog Millionaire (2008) he resisted a call to work in America and then he turned down a gong offered to him after masterminding the opening ceremony of the Olympic games that took place last year in East London.
On leaving the Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre following a screening of Trance (2013) I was asked if I liked the film and my answer was that I didn’t know? Its convoluted story was something I would have to think about, all I could say was that it took along time to get where it was going! In a recent interview the director said ‘all the dark stuff that we could not put in the Olympics has ended up here’
It’s the sort of film where the less you know about the plot, the more chance you have of enjoying it. Set in modern day London, Simon an art auctioneer colludes with a gangster Franck, in the theft of a painting by Goya only to develop amnesia after hiding the work of art. His only hope of retrieving his memory and hence the painting, is to engage a hypnotherapist Dr Elizabeth Lamb. The real subject of this psychological thriller is not finding the painting but recovering the stolen memories that Elizabeth Lamb finds in Simons subconscious. Actually most of the films action seems to take place in people’s heads, and it’s left to the audience to decide if what we see is really happening.
This twist-laden story, described by Boyle as a cruel film, is inspired by Nicolas Roeg and brings to mind Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010). It was based on a little known 2001 British television film of the same name. The three central characters are played by, James McAvoy (Simon) who also narrates the story, French actor Vincent Cassel plays the brutal Franck and Rosario Dawson plays the sexy American femme fatale Elizabeth Lamb. So have I made my mind up if I like the film? Well I’m afraid the answer is locked up in my subconscious so you’ll just have to see the film and make your own mind up!