Trance is a Malayalam film that was released in Feb this year and streaming now on Amazon Prime.
A bunch of great talent from Malayalam cinema is associated with the film, right from the actors to the director to the writer and other technicians which sort of heightened the expectations. The end product is a mixed bag.
Trance is an extremely bold film for the subject it has dealt with. Religion in India is a touchy topic, but the makers take it head on, that too just focusing on a particular religion without even attempting to do any monkey balancing. Usually that’s what film makers do. Can’t imagine if such a film would get made in Tamil, for example. “To feed people’s emotions with a powerful drug called religion”! Is a dialogue from the film. It can’t get real than this.
The film centres around corporatisation of religion and tries to expose the associated fraudulent practices. As a script, it displays enough promise but succumbs to what I call as the “1st half is good, 2nd half is not good” syndrome!
The film opens slowly setting the context for the hero’s characterisation and then builds up interestingly to the interval block which is the best part of the film. Post the interval, the narrative suffers for a while before meandering towards a predictable climax.
The main protagonist is played by Fahadh Faasil, easily among the best actors in Indian cinema today. He has been having a dream run in the last few years and this adds to his already impressive repertoire of films. Fahadh as a wannabe communications trainer in the beginning and a transformed pastor in the rest of the film is just brilliant. His eyes do the acting for him most of the time. So his other efforts like dialogue delivery, body language and histrionics are just free supplements that make him a complete and an accomplished actor.
Fahadh dominates our mind share so much in this film that other actors including the very talented Nazariya Nasim and others fail to catch our attention. Nazariya is wasted in a role that is written without much impetus. Gautam Menon dons the role of a corporate chieftain and oozes much style. Again, we have not seen a more stylish and eloquent villain in a long time in Malayalam cinema.
Director Anwar Rashid who had a great debut in his super hit and adorable film – Ustad Hotel, trips a bit in this after showing a lot of promise.
But Trance is a complex film which tries to convey a lot of things. It is watchable but falls short of making it fascinating. Watch it for the brilliant 1st half and if you want to experience and consume Fahadh, the actor in a riveting role.