Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds
Director: Danny Boyle
This ‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’ meets British Gangster mash-up was brought to us by British Director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony) with this is mind, the film entirely held its own and love it or hate it you can’t deny it was captivating to say the least.
The beginning segment is simple enough to follow as we are guided by forth wall narration by protagonist Simon (James McAvoy), a Fine Art Auctioneer with a gambling problem. Suffice to say that one can help solve the other, and to clear his debts he gets involved with local French gangster Franck (Vincent Cassel) to steal the painting Witches in the Air by Francisco Goya. Though everything is going to plan and despite his training at work where they’re taught “Don’t play the hero, no art is worth a human life” Simon can’t help himself.
The second segment shows that Simon has double crossed Franck, but the beating to the head he took leaves him forgetting what he did with the painting. Franck encourages Simon to pick a hypnotherapist to help recover the memory of where he hid the painting. Enter Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) who sensing that Simon is in danger does her best to help him and thwart Franck and is band of merry gangster men.
The final third of the film is where things get really complicated as hypnosis, lust, reality and death all become one and the same with no anchor to stop the roller coaster of events that ensue.
Though the plot was full of twist and turns it was a relief that they kept to only three central characters, and a small detail that I found effective was their accents. McAvoy’s Scottish, Cassel’s French and Dawson’s subtle American back dropped against the harsh London Gangster scene just seemed right.
The film started out with a lot of obvious turning points, it more than made up for itself with the subtle hints and intricately woven threads between the real world and the one of hypnosis. Definitely one for the know it alls and the ones who like to have their minds blown, and even if you fall into neither category, it should still be given a trance.
Link to trailer: