The Noir genre is one of my favourites, films about ambiguous people doing stuff that doesn't make much sense, but you enjoy the process they go through. One of the staples of 40s noir was that the characters had to explain what on Earth was going on in the last reel. Danny Boyle has brought back this noir trope in `Trance', a film that makes about as much sense as a bag full of melted jelly babies, but you will have fun watching it.
James McAvoy plays Simon, a man who works in a prestigious auction house. When the house is attacked, Simon puts the most valuable painting in the safe, but were has it gone? Simon must convince his employees and the criminals that he doesn't know anything. Enter the mysterious hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) to unlock his memories. `Trance' is part `Shallow Grave', part `Inception', all kinds of crazy. It is a drama set in the real world, but also the world of potentially false memories. Boyle twists the plot around like a Chubby Checker convention and you don't know if you are coming or going, what is real or not.
In the end, does it really matter? As a fan of the noir genre I was able to glean what was happening and was quite happy with the various dead ends and red herrings the film came up with, but some people will find it very annoying and confusing. It is less about what the journey is and simply enjoying the ride. The actors are on top form, Vincent Cassel oozes charisma, an eye opening performance by Dawson and McAvoy is decent. However, like so many Boyle films it is the director himself who stars - his camera work is a joy to watch. `Trance' is a film for noir fans who don't mind a little confusion in their movies.
A film best suited for BluRay, Boyle uses effects and colour to make the most of the urban setting.