- In Theaters
- Feb 20, 2020
- 2hrs, 50mins
A Trance that blows you away!
The first time I heard the word “Trance” is when one of my friends suggested me to listen to Trance Music/Electronic music in the year 2012, I guess. The word Trance has a lot of meanings such as ‘half-conscious, hypnotic state, daze or enchantment’. When you watch this Malayalam movie “Trance”, I’m sure you will connect to all the meanings during the runtime of the film. Trance had released with huge expectations because of the real cute couple Fahadh Faasil & Nazriya Nazim as a pair after a long time and I believe this is a comeback for Nazriya post their wedding. This film has been directed by Anwar Rasheed (Remember him? The guy who directed “Ustad Hotel” and produced blockbusters “Bangalore Days” and “Premam”) and seems like they spent quite a good budget for this film.
Coming to the plot of the film, it’s about a small-time motivational speaker from Kanyakumari, Viju Prasad (Fahadh Faasil) who has psychological problems because of his past, hired by a team of big corporate professionals to get him trained to be a Pastor. Post-training, they give him the title ‘Pastor Joshua Carlton’ (shortened as JC like JC – Jesus Christ) and he becomes the front face of their mission. How the corporate makes a business out of religion is the film all about? The company is like a mafia which makes rather loots money in the name of Religion. There is a powerful dialogue in the movie – “Religion is a powerful Drug.” Yes, it is true. Our society today has a lot of miracle workers, Swamijis or Cult personalities who are self-proclaimed Gods.
The entire movie “Trance” runs on this unique point, which was probably never explored in Malayalam cinema. The concept of business out of religion is a bit touched in a couple of Telugu films – Rajendra Prasad & Sivaji’s “Ayyare” which went on to become an average flick and Vijay Devarakonda’s “Dwaraka” which was below average. In Bollywood, movies like “PK” and “OMG” are also based on similar concepts and both were blockbusters. (Please remind me if there are any other films on this concept). What is great about Trance is the way it is picturized, how faith in a religion can be exploited with a granular detailing and it’s need of the hour for society.
The show-stealer of the film is Fahadh Faasil, and it is his ‘One Man Show’. Transformation from a motivational speaker to a Pastor is just phenomenal. He has done methodical acting and lived in that character. Especially in those Pastoral speeches, his acting is impeccable. First of its kind in Malayalam Cinema. Undoubtedly, it is a monstrous performance from Fahadh. I’m sure you will be awestruck when you see his acting. No words to explain. Nazriya as Esther comes in the second half, her role is just Okay and is like an extended cameo role. Gautam Vasudev Menon, Dileep Pothan, Chemban Vinod as antagonists have done a good job. Soubin Shahir as a TV news anchor has got a good role too. Everyone performed well.
It is high time that we consider Amal Neerad as a legend in cinematography. The visuals really communicate well with the audience and Resul Pookutty’s (remember the Academy winner for Slumdog Millionaire?) incredible sound design provides ample support. The background score never goes overboard like many of the recent movies. Anwar Rasheed’s direction is remarkable. His effort in bringing everything together to execute the writer’s vision deserves applause. You can say this falls into a psychological drama with a neo-noir style of film making. Hats off to the writer Vincent Vadakkan for taking up a sensitive subject like this – Phenomenal!
Few drawbacks in the film are, not so catchy songs but, will go with the storyline. And the climax episode was a little confusing, a little hasty leaving it to the audience perception. I heard that film was a commercial failure and the major reason might be COVID-19 leading to country lockdown. The film is visually so rich, and it was made on a 35C budget. Recovering that money in Malayalam, that too with this unique type film is a kinda herculean task for the producers. But trance would be the one that would be talked, discussed, interpreted in many ways in the future. Trust me on this.
Again, this film may not be appealing to all the viewers hence not an easy watch. Not every religious leader/spiritual leader or miracle worker is exploiting faith and some genuine personalities have dedicated their life to service, no doubt about that. A great takeaway is that, “Belief is different from Superstition”. Whatever the religion is, ‘Love your fellow human being and understand that God lies within us – Living beings and, ‘Humanity’ is the only thing we should all be connected to. Religion is a ‘way of life’ – to live happily, not spread hate or discriminate against a fellow human being. Let’s not generalize or become judgemental. Nature doesn’t show any discriminations so, we should never – It is very simple, let’s not complicate it.
Have Faith but, Be Rationale.
Barring a few concerns in the film, Trance is one of the best movies from the Malayalam Film Industry, which will take you into a state of trance. Don’t miss it!