Olympic ringleader leaves audience in a Trance

Rosario Dawson and James McAvoy in Danny Boyle's film Trance.
Rosario Dawson and James McAvoy in Danny Boyle's film Trance.

So now we know what film director Danny Boyle was up to in-between takes of his universally acclaimed opening ceremony at the London 2012 Olymic Games.

While taking a break from directing Sir Bradley Wiggins, Kenneth Branagh, Emeli Sande and The Queen jumping out of a helicopter, the man responsible for such cult cinema hits as Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire was making Trance.

The film shown at South Holland Centre on Saturday and starring James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland), Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and Vincent Cassel (Black Swan) is a cross between an earlier Danny Boyle film, Shallow Grave, and Christopher Nolan’s Inception.

McAvoy plays an auctioneer addicted to gambling who tries to pay off his debt by stealing a £27.5 million painting for a gang of criminals led by Cassel.

But while committing the robbery, McAvoy is knocked out by Cassel and forgets where he has hidden the treasured masterpiece.

In steps Dawson who plays a psychiatrist employed by Cassel to hypnotize McAvoy into giving up where the painting is stashed.

The story then becomes a series of flashbacks which ultimately unmasks McAvoy as a wife beater when married to Dawson before she turns the tables on both leading men in a way that becomes more predictable as the film nears its climax.

But which parts were real and which parts were just an illusion, in the words of the hit by 1980s soul group Imagination.

Trance may not end up in the canon of legendary Danny Boyle films like the ones mentioned earlier but as a diversion from the national service that was the 2012 Olympics, the trio of McAvoy, Dawson and Cassel serve up an intriguing tale that is more than worth the cinema entry fee.