Joshua Carlton is a miracle worker, a pastor who miraculously cures the illnesses of all people and if he’s in real life would be a favourite pass-time of Ram Gopal Varma (as he has proclaimed he’s a big fan of a certain Global Peace Party leader). In the previous incarnation Joshua was really Viju Prasad, a native of Kanyakumari.
He used to be a small time motivational speaker and had a heavy and tragic past. Tendency to commit suicide runs in his family and when his mentally unstable brother takes his own life by suicide, he is devastated. He gets addicted to depression and later relocates to Mumbai.
It is where he is hired by a couple of corporate honchos and is turned into a miracle worker or a Christian faith healer. His ability to attract and manipulate people through his words helps him quickly become a global phenomenon and as his celebrity rises, he’s interviewed by a national television.
In the interview, Matthews - the anchor asks him difficult questions but gets defeated by the charms and spell of Joshua aka Viju. Unwilling to submit to this, Matthews challenges Joshua to spell a miracle in Live but during the commercial break Joshua drugs him and presents it as a miracle. But the drug induced miracle is unravelled and Joshua is now in trouble. The men behind him - Solomon and Isaac - want to dispose of him and beats him severely which results in Joshua falling into a coma.
Meanwhile, Thomas - a believer in Christian faith - thinks that Joshua can help save his dying child. Now, the woke up Joshua aka Viju is in a moral dilemma. And in big trouble. On one side he has to escape the hunting corporate honchos and on the other side he has to save Thomas’s child.
The only option in front of him is come out clean if everything and wait for the consequences. What happens to him? Can he save Thomas’ child? Will there be an escape route for him? Will the corporate honchos who exploited the faith of innocent and greedy people get punished? The answers to these questions form the rest of the story.
The Anwar Rasheed directorial Trance is an intriguing Film which deals with how miracle workers, faith healers, Babas and the like are exploiting innocent people. While the first half of the film is superb, the second half crumbles under the weight of the expectations. Moreover this is not a Film to watch just on a small screen like a mobile device or even on Television screens. The grand and mesmerising visuals, the atmospheric sounds and even the trance inducing performance by Fahaadh Faasil all demands a big screen watching experience.
A lot of punch that comes from watching the movie on a big screen is lost in translation when watching online. The narration of the Film is energetic. But the same unrestrained energy virtually killed the second half of the film where too many things happen in too little time. The many twists and turns certainly exhaust the viewers as there’s no marginal breathing space.
Nazriya Nazim who plays a model and sex worker Esther Lopez who spies on Viju did a fine job of a role where she is cast against type. Noted Kollywood director Gautham Menon and Chemban Vinod Jose who played the corporate honchos who are behind Joshua Carlton are great in their roles. Dileesh Pothan who played Avarachan who initially trains Viju is neat. But the film is all about Fahaadh Faasil’s maniacally charismatic performance and diabolically arresting visuals by cinematographer Amal Neerad.
All in all, Trance is a visual treat and a movie with an essential subject with a few intriguing moments. But it’s not as good as it’s projected to be and is saved by the lead actor’s performance and cinematography. Of course, the musical score (background score) by Sushin Shyam and Jackson deserves a special mention. One time watch. But not for everyone.
Rating: 3 out of 5