Friday, 19 April 2013


UK Release: 23rd February 1996
Watched on Recorded TV: Friday 18th April 2013
Rating: 18
Genre: Crime, Drama
Runtime: 1hr 34mins
IMDb Plot Synopsis: A wild, freeform, Rabelaisian trip through the darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life, focusing on Mark Renton and his attempt to give up his heroin habit, and how the latter affects his relationship with family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy, dimbulb Spud, psycho Begbie, 14-year-old girlfriend Diane, and clean-cut athlete Tommy, who's never touched drugs but can't help being curious about them...

My Review: Trainspotting has been on my ‘must-watch’ list for years now, but it wasn’t until tonight that I finally took the plunge and sat down with a chinese and watched it. 
I wasn’t sure what to expect. Obviously it is a highly regarded film, a film which defined 1990s cinema; one of Danny Boyle’s most well known films, it followed on from Shallow Grave in carving his name out as one of the most innovative, gritty and creative directors of the new century.
But as I said, I didn’t know what to expect. I went in knowing barely anything about it. I obviously knew it starred Ewan McGregor and followed the lives of a group of drug addicts in Edinburgh, but that’s about it. Nothing really plot-wise. 
But then it wasn’t until about half way through that there was much of a plot to grasp on to anyway. This film does what no other film I’ve seen before has done - encapsulate the ups and downs of a drug user. Renton’s drug of choice is heroin and his friends and him while away days and days laid out on the floor in an empty flat shooting hit after hit. What drew me in to begin with was the casualness of it all, especially the dodgy ethics of having a little baby crawling around with all this going on.
So while there wasn’t anything particuarly exciting plot wise to start with it was Boyle’s direction and cinematography that kept me going. To start with it’s the famous (or should I say infamous?!) ‘going-down-the-toiler- scene, which I’d heard about and so when I saw it coming I was curious as to how it would play out. Now, keep in mind I had a mouthful of chinese when it happened. Yeah, I wasn’t very hungry after that. It was a clever way though to show the lengths Renton was willing to go for the drugs. 
What was also interesting was the audience’s relationship with Renton. You’re never really pushed to love him or hate him, you just accept him from the beginning. Because as he says at the end, he’s kind of a bad person, and yet we somehow empathise. 
I love the dynamic between Renton and his friends and I saw so many actors that I know today it was brilliant! To see them all young and thoroughly Scottish was a treat! 
I’m glad that things shook up a bit though in the second half and I really got into it. I was sad to find that I didn’t love it like I did other ‘must see’ films such as Fight Club. But at the end of the day I’m very glad I’ve finally seen it and I definitely appreciated it for fine piece of filmmaking that it is. And British at that.

Score: 8/10

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