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Director Danny Boyle is a master, but ‘Trance’ is not his masterpiece


Danny Boyle is certainly Great Britain’s best known movie director, having won an Oscar for “Slumdog Millionaire” and is the mastermind who staged the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics.

His new movie is a psychological thriller called “Trance,” and it opens this weekend.

Danny Boyle actually shot this movie during the staging of his Olympics extravaganza. He said it served as a nice break from the pressure of the Olympics.

Only a man as talented as Boyle could see directing a movie as a break, but Boyle has demonstrated again and again that he can do the unlikely – in “127 Hours,” he made an entire movie about a guy who got his arm stuck by a boulder, and won the Oscar with, of all things, a Bollywood film.

“Trance” is another example of Boyle’s professionalism – it’s a very stylish heist film that uses hypnosis to shake up its characters and the plot.

The movie starts with a high-end art auction.

Just as the gavel comes down, that painting is stolen by a crew of brazen art thieves. Or so they think. It turns out someone with the auction house stole it right before them. But then that guy gets bonked on the head and can’t remember where he stashed the stolen painting.

When the gang of art thieves catches up to him, they decide to get a hypnotist to crack his memory for them.

For the rest of the movie, a rather sexy hypnotist, played by Rosario Dawson, teases out his memory in a series of disjointed visions that get more and more compromised by his and her involvement with the gang of art thieves. Much like the main character, the audience spends its time trying to sort out what exactly is real, what’s a dream, and what’s a false memory.

“Trance” is a visually striking thriller that eventually wears out its welcome long before it’s over. Boyle overloads his movie with a lot of flash to distract us from a couple of dubious plot points, and a mystery that, once solved, is not all that interesting or plausible.

Boyle is a master but this is not his masterpiece.

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