Trance movie review : Of Fahadh’s magic & the tragic state of faith

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TRANCE movie review is here. Dropped on Amazon Prime, the Malayalam language psychological drama stars Fahadh Faasil in the lead role along with Sreenath Bhasi, Dileesh Pothan, Gautham Menon, Chemban Vinod Jose, Nazriya Nazim, Soubin Shahir, and Vinayakan. TRANCE is produced and directed by Anwar Rasheed and is written by Vincent Vadakkan.

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll

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Halleluiah!! Welcome the Aamir Khan Of Kerala – Fahadh Faasil the electrifying energy and charm of this incredible actor adds magic to this thought provoking debate on faith, trust, poverty and humanity by Anwar Rasheed.

The Story of TRANCE

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Viju Prasad (Fahadh Faasil) a Kanyakumari-based simple man working in a hotel is gifted with powers of a great motivational speaker. Viju dreams to become the top motivational speaker and during part time conducts his classes which are attended by a petty few.

A chance encounter with a casting agent Kavitha (Aswathi Menon) lands Viju in the job of his dreams. Businessmen Solomon Davis (Gautham Menon) and Issac Thomas (Chemban Vinod Jose) offer him the job of a Christian pastor – Joshua Carlton. Avarachan (Dileesh Pothan) trains the atheist Viju in the teachings of Bible especially the stories about healing. Viju aka Joshua Carlton gets into the skin of the character with élan and very soon Solomon and Issac are making millions with the charisma of their poster boy Joshua. The ‘drug’ of religion and the strong believe in superstition is making Joshua a phenomenon and his stagey/scripted healings are finding followers all over the world.

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What happens when reality strikes in and consciousness, morality and humanity confront the fake ‘god’ and the common believe system of the ‘divine’ superpower?. TRANCE answers all the above questions in a gripping psychological drama that debates on the commercialization of faith.

TRANCE Movie Review

Anwar Rasheed the man behind the gems CHHOTA MUMBAI starring Mohanlal and USTAD HOTEL starring Dulquer Salmaan, this time questions the tragic state of faith. Ruled by superstition and unfortunately the lesser understanding of God or say super power by people is making the sharks of religion getting richer every second. “You will be infusing a ‘drug’ during your speeches; the drug of religion says the businessmen in the trade of faith Gautham Menon to Fahadh Faasil an atheist. The atheist agrees to ‘act’ as a pastor and celebrate the fake glory of the Lord by cheating and robbing the connection of human beings with his/her god of understanding by gimmicks on stage. TRANCE is bang on its message. An atheist turning a pastor healing people from suffering and reason behind is not his believe in god but his ‘ambition’ to be a motivational speaker and be rich and famous.

We all know what is happening around the world today in the name of religion. Even a pandemic like Corona Covid -19 is getting viewed with a religious eye by some people. The threat to human life is given a religious angle by some opportunist people who are using it for their agenda which is against the prosperity of human.

Without getting into the debate of believers and non – believers, let’s underline the major takeaways from TRANCE.

Like world cinema especially Iranian, Lebanese (though they are very rare) Malayalam movies do have that factor of simple story of simple people, told simply making a lasting impact. TRANCE opens with that minimalism feel when it introduces Viju and his brother till he transforms into Joshua. From Joshua the movie takes a stylish tone gets vibrant and aims to capture the maximum audience. In short tries to be a mainstream. Now this to me in all probability must be a ‘desperate’ attempt to get the seed of this ‘ambitioius’ idea reach maximum. No harm at all.

However, when the movie takes the psychological thriller drama tone during the second half with the entry of Esther Lopez (Nazriya Nazim) things get mediocre. The movie struggles to keep the balance between the conflict of mind and heart – the consciousness of the soul and the vulnerability of a mind haunted by a disturbing past.

The rise and fall of pastor is uneven though the Meta of the common man Thomas (Vinayakan) who suffers due to this circus in the name of faith and religion gets established and the message gets properly delivered though its more filmy.

Fahadh Faasil nails it to perfection and his act as Viju aka Pastor Joshua is filled with terrific energy and exceptional sense of timing a case of outstanding brilliance.

Gautham Vasudev Menon is perfect. Dileesh Pothan is outstanding and Soubin Shahir is fantastic. Nazriya fits the bill but her role isn’t properly structured and she does very well is another matter. Chemban Vinod, Aswathi Menon, Vinayakan and Sreenath Bhasi chip in with great support as well.

Writer Vincent Vadakkan ends up in doing a remarkable job even after those hiccups in the second half.

Amal Neerad’s cinematography is astonishing and the background score of Sushin Shyam and Jackson Vijayan adds to the atmosphere and momentum.

Final words

Powered by sheer energy and brilliance of Fahadh Faasil TRANCE by Anwar Rasheed is a thought provoking cinema that questions the sorry state of faith which is ruled by superstition. We know how the world around us is getting manipulated by money minded sharks who use religion as a drug/weapon to rob us from our rightful connection with the almighty/god/super power with stagey gimmicks and false hope. Do catch it without fail, it doesn,t matter whether you are a believer or a non believer.

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