|Fig 1 - Trainspotting Poster|
The film hits on a number of themes, namely those of addiction and morality, which are highlighted by the central characters' complete disregard for the legality of their actions. Throughout the film we bear witness to a whole host of criminal acts, including drug dealing, theft, assault, manslaughter, statutory rape and enough heroin consumption to make the BBFC collapse onto a fainting couch and fan itself senseless. Having said that, the film never appears to glorify these acts but rather exhibits the consequences of partaking in such an 'underground' lifestyle. The film also calls into question the social acceptability of drugs such as alcohol and Valium, a drug to which Renton informs us his mother is "domestically" addicted. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise when the central characters make ethically misguided decisions as they struggle to come to grips with the notions of 'right and wrong' in such a contradictory society.
|Fig 2 - Trainspotting - Renton|
Incidentally, I was absolutely convinced by the exceptional casting, particularly those responsible for drug-addicted characters. Every reaction to a hit came across in their expressions of fleeting ecstasy, with particular props to Ewan McGregor on whom the film focuses most. McGregor's commitment to the realistically gaunt and skeletal frame of an addict made Renton all the more compelling and believable as a character. In addition, Robert Carlyle as the unhinged Begbie gives a fantastically intimidating performance that makes the ending feel all the more justified.
Furthermore, the film's soundtrack makes for a great blend of classic britpop and 90's techno, featuring the likes of Lou Reed with 'Perfect Day' and Underworld's 'Born Slippy'. The soundtrack, in conjunction with the film, will make for an utterly nostalgic experience for viewers who reveled in the boom of the 'clubbing scene' before the turn of the century. For those who didn't, it will likely transport you there regardless.
Trainspotting is undoubtedly my favourite of Danny Boyle's films to date and thus I cannot fault it. It's a relentless fix of adrenaline from start to finish that provides an exciting yet terrifying glimpse into the all-too-real world of addiction. It's a huge hit that shows exactly why you'll never want one.
Fig. 1 Trainspotting Poster (1996) From: Trainspotting - Directed by: Danny Boyle
Fig. 1 Trainspotting Screenshot (1996) From: Trainspotting - Directed by: Danny Boyle