Trance Movie Review Rating: 3/5 stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Nazriya Nazim, and Soubin Shahir.
Director: Anwar Rasheed
What’s Good: Fahadh Faasil is the best thing to happen to Malayalam cinema and he excels in a film that has some amazing camera work.
What’s Bad: Unfortunately Anwar, Fahadh and team could not save it from the curse of the second half.
Loo Break: Strictly not in the first half!
Watch or Not?: Watch it for Fahadh and the cinematography that can be called one of the best.
Trance is a story that puts Viju (Fahadh) in the centre of it and speaks about the dark realities that have doomed our minds. You meet a motivational speaker who himself needs some everyday morning as his talks to himself in the mirror every day. Family circumstances and its loss in life breaks Viju, which leads to him getting depressed and deteorating mental condition.
Viju comes to Mumbai to start afresh. He meets tycoon Solomon (Gautham) who lures him into becoming a Godman, a pastor and drug people with religion. What follows is Viju being reborn as Pastor Joshua Carlton or JC (Jesus Christ). His journey with this new self, the facade that comes in the name of religion and the struggle that a mentally challenged face in wrong hands is the story.
Trance Movie Review: Script Analysis
Trance is not a staple script that can be judged so easily. It has too much meat, a lot to say and many things hidden that need to be understood without really saying. Written by Vincent Vadakkan, it talks about the crossover between science and faith. The script calls them two types of drugs, psychotropic and the other being a religion. The script emphasises on the fact of how just like the psychotropic drug, religion can also be born through a meeting between well-suited people in a fancy lobby of a top-class hotel. While it’s telling us about Viju, his back story, his mental struggle and how big a facade religion can be is perfect and strongly intriguing. When you see a man (Fahadh) being an atheist but still giving a nod for being a Godman, it is all engaging.
The script goes down in the second half. It’s here where Vincent and Anwar try to tell a lot but fail in explaining anything completely. While we see a reborn Pastor taking over Viju and oozing with confidence, we also get to know about his mental imbalance and what is causing it, we also are introduced to Esther (Nazriya) who seems to be a metaphor to the angel in Pastor’s life (a reference to Jesus’ story). There is also a parallel track of how a man influenced by Pastor’s miracle has given himself completely to put his daughter’s life in danger. It’s too much to be in the second half. While everything separately is a plot point that is impressive, put together, isn’t executed well.
All of this is immaculately supported by Amal Neerad’s cinematography and art design by Ajayan Challisery. The film is by Viju’s perspective who is going through a mental condition and also on a drug without him knowing. The camera follows this one line detail and does the job and is visual treat add on to the complete experience. Ajayan’s attention to detail is another milestone where he gets into the head of the character.
The very first set up Viju is in is a light, breezy, open window, has a life-size Mother Teresa graffiti on the wall. Later after his rebirth the set up is opposite. This slow descent to dark places, lights in shades of red. It is a journey in itself.
Trance Movie Review: Star Performance
If Fahadh Faasil ever decides to be a cult for real, I am up for being his follower. The star gets inside the character and changes shade every few scenes. What begins from being an innocent man trying to balance his family and becoming successful in his idea of being a motivational speaker escalates to become a confident individual handling his schizophrenic self and bring down the bad guys. The man goes from happy, to sad to angry to confuse to depressed to destructive like a chameleon and makes you follow him like a sheep. I know it is a huge statement to make but Fahadh reminded me of Ranbir Kapoor’s character Ved from Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha. The scene when he talks to himself in the mirror is going to be a visual of the actor for days to come.
All others including Gautham, Nazriya and Soubin play their parts just right. Also, a reunion for Fahadh and Soubin after Kumbalangi Nights and the two are sharing the same dynamic but the roles are reversed.
Trance Movie Review: Direction, Music
It surely takes an equally crazy mind to execute a script as crazy as this and Anwar does the job right. The first half which is my favourite part of the film sees how invested Anwar is in his story. He is not into simplifying the story for a viewer but telling it as it is. Though Anwar gets scattered in the second half, he stays true to Viju and does complete justice to him.
Resul Pookutty’s sound design and the background score by Sushin Shyam and Jackson Vijayan add the perfect touch that the film deserves. Resul’s crescendo every single time brings you on the edge of the seat. It is a wise decision to not force in songs and I completely respect that.
Trance Movie Review: The Last Word
Fahadh Faasil emerges out a winner in this perfectly fetched platter but what brings down is the curse of the second half. Watch it to see an experiment that should be welcomed. Watch it for Fahadh as the man is on a streak of giving memorable performances. Give it a chance, you might have a different take.
Trance Movie Trailer
Trance Movie releases on 28th February, 2020 in Mumbai.
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