Witches in the Air

Trance

trance_ver5

Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting director Danny Boyle returns to his Shallow Grave roots in the seductive and hypnotic sexual thriller Trance, revolving around an art heist of a 1798 Francisco Goya painting, Witches in the Air valued at 27 million pounds from a London auction house. Trance teems up Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) with James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland) and Rosario Dawson (Sin City) in a frenetic edge of the seat thriller about hypnosis, artistic obsessions, addictions and violence set in a 21st century contemporary London.

McAvoy plays a seemingly harmless Londoner Simon who while working at an auction house in London manages to save the expensive Goya painting during an audacious robbery from European gangster Franck played by Cassel and his band of ruthless thieves only to suffer a head trauma, not remembering where the original painting was hidden. Soon Simon threatened by Franck approaches a Harley Street hypnotist Dr Elizabeth Lamb, played with a sultry detachment by Rosario Dawson in one of her best roles yet. Trance is shot in brilliantly sharp Danny Boyle style with colour filters, wide angle shots and a pulsating musical score as the film follows the dangerous ménage a trios between Elizabeth, Simon and Franck as they all attempt to outwit each other with some serious violence and raunchy sex to spice up the narrative in a superbly visceral and intelligent thriller about art heists and what lengths people will go to in order to locate the original highly priced stolen work of art in this case the 18th century Spanish painting Witches in the Air.

No work of art is worth more than a human life

Trance centres on the premise that no work of art is worth more than a human life. Boyle who incidentally made this film, while directing the opening of the London 2012 Summer Olympics is clearly in his element in this tightly knit provocative tale of three bizarre characters who are sociopathic in their compulsion at all costs to find the original painting whilst throwing in revenge, amnesia and  some gory murder all to the seductive sound of Dawson’s entrancing voice.

Trance is fast paced, twisted, violent and superbly shot and will definitely leave viewers gasping at the end as their allegiance is switched and the plot takes a wonderfully unexpected turn in the sophisticated world of art heists. With loads of violence and nudity, Trance is not for sensitive viewers, making the Christopher Walken 2009 comedy The Maiden Heist look like child’s play.

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