Trainspotting, is a dark comedy crime drama directed by English director Danny Boyle. Known for Slumdog Millionaire fame, Boyle made the film written by John Hodge and adapted by a 1993 novel by Irvine Welsh with the same name. This 1996 film stars Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd and Jonny Lee Miller in main roles with Robert Carlyle and Kelly Macdonald making lasting contributions. Trainspotting launched Scottish cinema into the limelight, and exposed to the world how non-American English movies could also have an impact, with it making into the list of best films of the 90s.
Trainspotting follows Mark Renton, Spud, Sick Boy, Franco and Tommy around an impoverished neighborhood of Edinburgh, Scotland. Sick Boy, Renton and Spud are routine heroin users, with Renton trying to quit. They are brash in their actions, struggle in poverty and are lost in the enigma of drugs, sex and unemployment. Spud and Rent get caught in a robbery scandal, and while Spud is sent to prison, Rent is let go on the condition to rehabilitate. He abuses drugs one last time and overdoses. Following this, he undergoes a painful recovery and eventually makes a couple of bad decisions which form the crux of the story.
What we LOVED
Trainspotting is a perfect example of how ‘the other side’ is not portrayed enough by the entertainment industry. Yes, efforts are made, but where others fail to show the gruesome nature of things, Trainspotting triumphs in its truly outright speech of the reality that much of the Scottish lived in.
Ewan McGregor was absolutely phenomenal in his portrayal of Renton. He shows true growth as a character, be it in positives of negatives. He has a raw early adult spirit he spews on screen, and his energy was unmatchable. Renton’s lust for drugs is justified with McGregor’s acting and dedication to show its effects.
The silent pivots of Trainspotting according to me was the background sound and mixing. With a beautiful mix of pop and rock music, the soundtrack for the movie was a best seller in the country. With its fusion, it reflected the turn of a new era and also a reflection of the socio-cultural scenario of Scotland.
Why watch Trainspotting?
It is a brilliant adaptation from the book, and was a beautiful screenplay of the reality of Scotland. Boyle, Welsh, Hodge and many others were native Scots, and we see a subtle hint of Scottish independence as a theme in the film. It shows a foray of emotions- dissatisfaction, loss, recovery, happiness, ecstasy, all knitted into a compact and neat storyline. Trainspotting is worth watching, and might change your whole perception of adulthood and decision-making. If this is not to your liking, check out the review on the hit show You and Modern Love.