So here we go with Danny Boyle‘s… let’s call it “his film”. Filmed during a break for his preparation of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, it’s clear he wanted to let loose. Not as free and loose as say Trainspotting, but definitely a film with little input from Hollywood executives saying what he can and cannot do.
I won’t spoil it by saying too much since towards the end of the film you have no idea what the hell is going on, but the last scene changes everything and you don’t get it until the final take. Even then, you will still be questioning what you have just watched.
In the beginning, we see an auction house (think Sotheby’s) selling a very rare painting. We are introduced to Simon (James McAvoy) who works there and subsequently is involved with the stealing of said painting. However, he suffers a blow to the head and forgets where he has hidden the painting.
The crew he worked for, lead by Frank (Vincent Cassel), hires Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson) a hypnotist to see if she can unlock his memory and to see if he can remember what happened and where Simon has hidden the painting.
It’s not a spoiler to say she gets to know what he is looking for, but from now on, that’s all I’m going to say. However, what follows is a film you need to concentrate 100% for. It bounces back and forth the the extent that actually, paying too much attention almost makes it harder to follow.
It’s strange but if you watch it, you’ll get what I mean. You manage to keep up until near then end when wham! You have no idea what is going on.
If this were a film from any other director, you’d have no faith in it. But knowing who is behind it, which in my opinion is second only to Chris Nolan’s Inception or Memento for mindf**ks, you have faith. That faith I think is restored and rewarded. BUT, I’m not quite sure.
Make no mistake, this is a very good film, which is filmed impeccably with great angles that remind you without doubt, this is made by the same bloke who made Slumdog Millionaire which if nothing else, looked blooming gorgeous.
But an hour after watching, I’m not sure if it is brilliantly written, or in the films world, brilliantly convenient. The trouble is, one makes for a great film, the other makes for a not great film. Again, you need to watch this to get what I mean. Then you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from.
All the acting is great though. Sure the characters sometimes act strangely, but this is purely down to the role they are playing. We are treated to some torture scenes which have you holding onto your fingers with savage pressure and a very painful (for the boys) gunshot wound.
There is also some full frontal female nudity, which at the time grates and seems way out of place, but again, this becomes apparent at the end and you see why Danny was showing you it.
Whatever your you think of my ramblings, you HAVE to see this film. You may love it, but while I doubt you’ll hate it. You may certainly think it’s jumped the shark a bit. But you have to sit down, relax and think about it after it’s over to see if you like it or not. If there ever was a film to watch with a friend or loved one and partake in the act of discussing it over a slice of pie after, this is one of them.
Like I said, you may think in the end it’s stupid, but step back and even if you didn’t like it, you cannot deny right up to the end, you were hooked.
Reviewed by Invisiblekid