McGregor, Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner play a slouching trio of Scottish junkies; Carlyle their narcotic-eschewing but hard-drinking and generally psychotic mate Begbie. In Boyle's hands, their lives unfold in a rush of euphoric highs, blow-out overdoses and agonising withdrawals (all cued to a vogueish pop soundtrack). Throughout it all, John Hodge's screenplay strikes a delicate balance between acknowledging the inherent pleasures of drug use and spotlighting its eventual consequences. In Trainspotting's world view, it all comes down to a question of choices--between the dangerous Day-Glo highs of the addict and the grey, grinding consumerism of the everyday Joe. "Choose life", quips the film's narrator (McGregor) in a monologue that was to become a mantra. "Choose a job, choose a starter home... But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?" Ultimately, Trainspotting's wised-up, dead-beat inhabitants reject mainstream society in favour of a headlong rush to destruction. It makes for an exhilarating, energised and frequently terrifying trip that blazes with more energy and passion than a thousand more ostensibly life-embracing movies. --Xan Brooks
To recap, Trainspotting follows the lives of three junkies (Renton, Sick Boy and Spud) and a psychopath (Begbie) in Edinburgh (although quite a lot of the film is actually shot in my home town of Glasgow). Having recieved a mixture of acclaim and controversy when it was released, those who make the effort to watch it will realise it is not about glamorising drugs. It is essentially about the break up of friendships between men who have been pals since school and whose lives decay in a furore of drink, violence, sex, and drugs. It also makes an important statement of how mundane junkies' lives are.
The most disturbing aspect of this film is actually the amount of humour: from the bookmaker's toilet to the psychopath Begbie, quite simply a nutter, to use a nice vernacular phrase. Also look out for Sick Boy's great impressions of Sean Connery.
The extras on the DVD are great and a perfect length. Various missing scenes are included on the first disc. On the second disc, there is a mixture of interviews (including one with the author of the book, Irvine Welsh), and good behind-the-scenes material, including some nice multi-angle material.
Admirers of Trainspotting will have already appreciated its pulsating and eclectic soundtrack: from Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day' to Sleeper's cover of 'Atomic'; from Iggy Pop's 'Lust For Life' to 'Habanera' from Carmen. This DVD explains the choice of sound, as well as other aspects such as visuals and colour, and was interested to find out the music is designed to move the audience from the 1980s where the story begins to the 1990s. Indeed, Renton, the hero (?) of the film begins as a person with his mind stuck in the era of Iggy Pop, before eventually waking up to the 1990s with Pulp and Damon Albarn. Incidentally, also look out for the vox-pops of Albarn at the Cannes film festival on the second disc, as well as the likes of Oasis and Ewan McGregor himself.
This a film which deals with a controversial subject in a perfect manner with an excellent cast, great visuals, and a racing sountrack. ***** Five Stars! *****
The film follows Renton and his so called mates. The situations the characters find themselves in can be scary, funny and interesting. Throughout the film, we see the tension between friends and the battle Renton has with drugs. The film also shows the bad effects drugs can have on peoples life in a hard-hitting way.
When people think of Trainspotting they think 'oh it's a film about heroin addicts'. But when you see the film you realise there is more to it than that. Dig deeper and you realise the film is mainly about choices and friendships. Renton chose to do drugs rather than live a life working 9-5 with a family to look after. Although i don't agree with drug-taking at all, in a way his reasons are understandable. This film can be watched over and over again. There is so much to take in as there is a lot more in it than meets the eye. Enjoyable, entertaining and highly interesting. I get engrossed in the film every time i see it.
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