Maybe I'm not being completely clear on what my problem with this film is. For me, Trance
is just not a good thriller. I'm not judging it against the masterworks of Western civilization or film history, but against other films in the same genre. Trance
doesn't just have plot holes, like so many twisty thrillers or even really superb ones like Vertigo
, but it has huge motivation holes and that's what kills it for me. If the whole revealed reason a main character does the thing that set a story in motion to begin with makes zero sense relative to who they are, then I just can't suspend my disbelief. It would be like finding out at the end of Vertigo
that Madeline/Judy actually didn't love Scotty, that she continued on through to the end with their relationship in the hopes of stealing his car
or something silly like that. Say what you will about The Place Beyond The Pines
but it's way more devoted to organically created character trajectories and when it fails, it fails because it is unable to keep to that standard in the final third. I accept that thrillers in general tend to be more plot-driven, but that doesn't mean they are allowed to forget about presenting us with believable human beings. In fact, I'd almost say the opposite. The more simple and believable the true motivations of any given central character -- hero or villain -- in a thriller, the easier it is for us to let our guard down and go with all the twists and turns.