Fahadh Faasil-starrer Trance unleashes a cocktail of faith wrapped in corporate greed. It is psychedelic and vibrant, flamboyant and gripping.
Anwar Rasheed ends his eight-year sabbatical after the soothing Usthad Hotel with an intense plot, revolving around a motivational speaker. It is not a holistic entertainer in a traditional sense, but Trance has all elements that assure you a sense of cinematic pleasure.
Filmmakers have dabbled with plots revolving around godmen or motivational speakers or miracle workers, or whatever you would like to term that breed.
Anwar Rasheed has sort of broken that mould of cinematic thinking to grab your attention right from the start. No frills attached as we follow the protagonist Viju Prasad, who just manages to eke out a living. Ironically, he is a motivational speaker.
Perhaps, he himself needs some consolation from his troubled or disturbing past, which throws up a not so easy life for him to tackle. The script writer has unravelled these seething troubles with finesse, without getting stuck in the cliched frames and melodrama. This isn't an easy task, considering that the troubled past is not a run-of-the-mill stuff. There was enough scope to inject high-voltage drama, but Anwar Rasheed and the script writer boldly chose to shun that temptation.
So we are also seamlessly swapped to a different landscape, along with the protagonist, who happens to bump into new pastures in India's teeming metropolis – Mumbai. But Mumbai is just a transit which transforms our man into a pastor. And this ain't a Kaniyakumari to Mumbai plot as you would be tempted to believe initially when he sets foot there.
The pastor is a product of corporate greed as his new masters make it clear. They just want to pile up the riches by injecting faith into his motivational speaking skills. The rider, akin to the Eagles song Hotel California, is that once this offer of fresh pastures is taken up, he is transformed into a Pastor – and he can never leave.
Vincent Vadakkan's screenplay is watertight in this alluring first half. There is no flab to be shed and the editor, Praveen Prabhakar, has marvellously played on with the tight script. Trance assumes innumerable twists and turns in the second half. And it is slightly wobbly like Nazriya's character who makes an appearance after the break. Then there are countless characters unleashed to the screen, much like the mega miracle meetings we know of.
Our man, his masters, their acquaintances and the creators slightly lose the plot from then on. So it meanders aimlessly through the grey terrains of faith, psychedelic imageries swanky indoors and what not.
Trance then smirks, shrieks and whispers with an uneasy rhythm, which may be alluded to the orchestrated scenarios that help mint money from faith. But then such simulated miracle healing scenes was dealt with brilliantly in the first half. So the fault lines perhaps lie somewhere between the plot and the script.
Trance also struggles to make a razer-sharp landing. The makers of Trance have put in a huge effort without caring much about the sensitivity of the plot. It is also a laudable effort technically in which we hear even the slightest manifestations of sound, designed for a brilliant aesthetic experience by Resul Pookutty.
Sushin Shyam and Jackson Vijayan have miraculously orchestrated the tempo of Trance through its brilliant back ground score. Amal Neerad comes up with a magic wand to absorb the mood swings of Trance with gripping, vivid frames and colour tones.
What could have ended up as a Fahadh Faasil show alone, has now been elevated to a lofty technical heights.
Trance is magical, hysterical and depressing and you need to transcend the mundane line of cinematic offerings to relish it.