Danny Boyle’s ‘Trance’: The First Masterpiece Of Dubstep Cinema

No wait, come back. I’m totally serious about this. Yesterday afternoon, as I sat in the watching Danny Boyle’s Trance with my wife and three other young men sitting alone throughout the enormous theatre, I was immensely enjoying myself, but also struggling to characterize the film. By the third act, I had it: yes, 2013 marks the moment when the dubstep cinema movement began. 

Oh sure, you could call the movie a sci-fi mind-bender—or even an improvement on the dead-eyed Inception—and much of the soundtrack is in fact composed of a more gentle sort of electronica. But there was something curious about the way writers Joe Ahearne and John Hodge came at its central psychological mystery. While many films of this stripe allow the viewer to piece a puzzle together, Trance is more interested in drawing you deeper and deeper down into the addled subconscious until we’re face to face with raw identity.

In other words, it’s always keeping you entirely off-balance by pulling the rug out, not unlike dubstep, with shifting alliances and motivations galore. Its color scheme is black and bled-out neon, with flecks of English rain blurring everything—pretty much what you visualize when you listen to anything by Clubroot. And Rosario Dawson gives a knockout, kickass performance as the otherworldly voice at the vortex of this turbocharged nightmarescape. That’s Burial all over:
 
 
Can we look forward to more dubstep movies in the future? I hope so, because I’m a little weary of the indie-pop ones.
 

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