Trainspotting (1996)

Short Movie Review - By Jack Ferdman

trainspotting posterSTARRING:
Ewan McGregor (Renton)
Johnny Lee Miller (Sick boy)

Robert Carlyle (Begbie)
Director- Danny Boyle

Screenplay- John Hodge

Time- 94 min.

Few films, if any, can place a moviegoer in a world of nausea and sheer exuberance uniformly. Trainspotting succeeds, and does so brilliantly.

You get a sense of where this film is about to take us with Mark Renton’s opening narration:

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f’ing big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of f’ing fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f--- you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f’ing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f’ed up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?”

Trainspotting is the story of junkies from Edinburgh, Scotland, and how they cope with society through the use of heroin and the like.  Director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) authentically depicts the reaction the characters obtain through their addictions. Viewers of the film may tend to feel that the glorification of such substance abuse is the movie's central focus. I tend to disagree. The film definitely has very disturbing themes, however the underlying narrative of Trainspotting is the friendship of the junkies with our hero Renton (smartly played by Ewan McGregor) as the focal point. Renton's attempts at going "straight" (including a surrealistic scene of his parents attempting to nourish him back to health), keeps our mind focused on the glimmer of hope each of these tortured characters have in the achievement of a "healed state".

From its unrelenting screenplay to the commitment of the actors, from its hilarious moments to its depressing ones, Trainspotting will make you feel gross at times, but definitely is engrossing throughout its entirety.

Jack's Rating: A

Last modified on Sunday, 07 June 2015 15:37


0 #1 Darryl Tahirali 2013-03-11 21:16
Robert Carlyle's Begbie is one of the scariest characters in recent cinema. He's the Scottish Tommy DeVito (the Joe Pesci character from Goodfellas). Carlyle played a sociopathic villain in the Bond film The World Is Not Enough, one who through a brain injury becomes impervious to pain--but Begbie is still more frightening.

My favorite line is when they get off the train at the end of the line, in the Highlands, and Renton says that he doesn't hate the English even though they're wankers--he' s more angry because the Scots have been colonized by wankers.

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