'Trance' Review: What Critics Said About The Fahadh Faasil-Starrer

In 'Trance', director Anwar Rasheed’s first film since 2013, Fahadh re-unites with actress Nazriya on the big screen for the first time since they got married in 2014.
Fahadh Faasil and Nazriya in 'Trance'
Fahadh Faasil and Nazriya in 'Trance'

The highly anticipated Fahadh Faasil -starrer Trance finally hit theatres in Kerala today.

The film has been on a rocky road to its release after run-ins with the Censor board, multiple postponements of its release date in Kerala and disappointed fans over further delay in its release outside the state.

In Trance, director Anwar Rasheed’s first film since 2013, Fahadh re-unites with actress Nazriya on the big screen for the first time since they got married in 2014.

The cast also includes Soubin Shahir, Chemban Vinod Jose, Vinayakan, Gautham Menon, and Dileesh Pothan.

The film has been shot by cinematographer Amal Neerad, with sound design by Oscar-winner Resul Pookutty.

Here’s how critics have reviewed the film:

“Anwar’s filmmaking keeps you engaged the entire first half during which a captivating story begins to unfold. The last half does not keep up to the first, scenes that you enjoyed earlier becoming stretched, almost like you took a pill yourself and everything seems to take too long. But it doesn’t let you down, with some excellent performances coming from a very promising cast – Fahadh, Chemban Vinod, Dileesh Pothan, Nazriya, Soubin Shahir, Vinayakan, Sreenath Bhasi and, in his first Malayalam performance, Tamil director Gautham Menon.”

“Trance, evidently, cannot quite put its finger on the rights and wrongs of the situation. The faith-healers are greedy and corrupt, but what about the society that lets this business thrive? By creating easy villains out of a corporate company, the film bypasses a larger responsibility to analyse the big picture, of organised religions and the herd culture it propagates.”

“Trance might still manage to ruffle quite a lot of feathers across various religious cults among their wide fanbase, but as a serious critique of corporate spirituality and as a piece of cinema, it is a half-baked attempt. Having experienced its potency at half-bake, one can only wonder what they would have achieved with a little more patience and ingenuity.

“Trance is definitely a bold attempt for its theme, as far as Malayalam cinema is concerned. But it fails to do justice to the theme it explores with its weak script that becomes so cluttered and confused towards the third act.”

“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.”

“Anwar Rasheed’s Trance is not everyone’s cup of tea and definitely not an easy watch. The movie is a one-man show featuring ace Malayalam actor Fahadh Faasil. Of course, there are other elements like Amal Neerad’s cinematography, Sushin’s background score, Anwar Rasheed’s visualisation that make Trance a one-of-a-kind Malayalam movie. However, Fahadh steals the limelight by portraying a character that is hysteric and disturbing at the same time.”

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