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Trance: Danny Boyle is My Hero

August 15, 2013

Trance movie poster

Danny Boyle is an unpredictable maestro of style. Heroin, severed arms, rage-infected humans, beaches, game shows, millions and sunshine have all had their day in Boyle’s world. He is a quick editing dynamo of suspense, glorious images and ground-breaking ingenuity. Sunshine is quite possibly the most underrated film ever and he invented new types of zombies, perfected the voice over and made an arm stuck by a rock innovative.

Boyle shot Trance before the 2012 Olympics, created the opening and closing ceremonies  and finished editing it after it was over. Boyle stated that working on this noir kept him sane amidst the endless meetings and politics of uniting the Queen with Bond. I love how Boyle found solace in deceit and death while in the drudgery of pleasing every corporate sponsor. The time away allowed him to strategically edit and leave clues that are not obvious or too obscure.

Trance is the story of an art theft gone wrong. James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel make up the lead trio who double cross, triple cross and double cross each other again. Trance has more twists and turns than a roller coaster planned by M. Night Shyamalan and constructed by Michael Bay. If would be a shame to spoil the plot because I went into it blind and never witnessed anything like this. When the film ended I felt elation at what unfolded because it felt so new. The movie feels alive and exciting even as familiar tropes (murder, revenge, theft) appear in front of you.

Trance keeps you glued to your seat and hypnotized as Boyle’s colors and clues wash over you. The film is a puzzle that gives you enough clues to not be annoyed yet keeps you guessing till the end.  It plays out like a modern noir in which nobody can be trusted or should be trusted. Motives are impure, fingernails are pulled off and nudity is strategic. It is an old school heist turned up to 11 by modern day effects and Boyle’s frantic pace.

Watch Trance. Watch Trance again. Watch Sunshine on Blu-ray. Watch Trance again.


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