Hypnotism; some believe that it’s nothing more than a con, others that it really can help people to quit smoking, overcome their phobias and maybe even remember where they have hidden something very, very important.
Prolific British director Danny Boyle’s latest offering, Trance, follows auctioneer Simon (James McAvoy), who wakes up in hospital after helping an armed gang, led by Franck (Vincent Cassel), to steal a painting worth £25 million—Goya’s Flight of the Witches. When the gang brings the painting back home, however, they discover that it is not in its frame, and Simon is the only one who could have hidden it. The problem is that Simon has lost his memory. After traditional gangland techniques fail to make him remember its whereabouts, the gang decides that hypnosis is their last chance and Simon calls hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to help locate the painting and save his life.
What follows is a breathtaking exploration of the psyche and memory, with twists and turns a-plenty. Who is working for whom? Who is the mysterious woman who keeps cropping up in Simon’s regressions? And most of all, what happened to the painting? Fans of films like Inception will enjoy this suspense-ridden rollercoaster, and with all eyes on Danny Boyle after his remarkable direction of the opening ceremony at the London Olympics last year, the director continues his quality output with this intriguing look at life’s darker aspects. (Of course, if only they’d known that the painting is actually in storage at the Prado at the moment!)