Cert: 18 Runtime: 94 mins Director: Danny Boyle Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Kelly McDonald and Robert Carlyle
We would have injected vitamin C if only they had made it illegal!
Danny Boyle month continues with in my eyes the greatest British film of all time. Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting from 1996, is the film that brought Danny Boyle to fame. The film takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, home to five youngsters who hang out and cause trouble together. The team’s “moral” leader, not to mention the movie’s narrator, is Mark Renton (Ewan Mcgregor), who knows he’s slowly ruining his life and tries to kick the habit several times. That he’d rather have sex with an underage girl (Kelly MacDonald) than give his decision any serious thought doesn’t speak very well on his part. His mates, in sanity order, are Tommy (Kevin McKidd), who’s sane enough to stay away from heroin (he shoots DIY sex tapes instead), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), a James Bond-obsessed pervert (ironic, since the actor’s grandfather, Bernard Lee, played M in the Connery and Moore era), Spud (Ewen Bremner), so lost in an everlasting high he can’t speak properly, and Begbie (Robert Carlyle), whose personal drug consists of beating up people, especially when they’re not Scottish.Prepare to be shocked, horrified, disgusted, appalled, and entertained all at the same time by this electrifying film.
It’s a darkly comic story of depravity, depression, and heroin. The film chronicles a multitude of different events that happen in Renton’s life in a kind of free form method, all involving sex and drugs. The film doesn’t hold itself back on the disgust and shock it so easily elicits, making it incredibly memorable in the most hilariously deranged way possible.From the opening shot of this film we get a nice feel for what is in store for us. We open with Renton and his friends running through town, jumping over cars as Renton narrates about life and normality, setting the stage for the overall motif of this film. Renton observes a normal life and he recognizes it, but he just doesn’t see the use in it when he has heroin. After listing off a plethora of “normal life” things in his monologue he ends it by saying, “I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?” And that is how the entire film flows. Renton tries to get rid of the habit but then the allure just draws him back in, each time drawing him in deeper, causing his despondency to grow worse and worse.But Renton isn’t the only reason why this film is great. The rest of the characters are fantastic. The supporting cast of this film is incredible and they really drive the story to its greatest heights while Renton keeps it moving so we never get bored.
Each character shares the same problems in one way or another and then some are just insane. There’s Sick Boy and Spud, Renton’s junkie friends who cause more problems than solutions in Renton’s life, but he can’t escape them. There’s Tommy, the clean friend who chooses not to pollute his body with heroin and yet still has problems of his own. Then of course there is Bigbie, played to perfection by Robert Carlyle. Bigbie is the definition of insane. He is a man who will kill you as soon as look at you. He is a violent, angry, and unpredictable man whose every moves make you uncomfortable. All of his scenes are hilarious, yet at the same time so disturbing. He perfectly fits the film’s feeling of over-the-top insanity mixed with a harsh biting realistic element that allows you to connect and be fascinated by these characters. Trainspotting is a disturbed masterpiece. It’s characters drive the story so powerfully and so electrically. And when you couple that with Danny Boyle’s rough and rugged direction and an brilliantly witty script it makes the film that much better. It is hard to comprehend what you are supposed to take away from this film, but by the end you know you obviously took something away because of how strikingly incredible the film is. It’s sporadic insanity drills itself into your mind, leaving you with so many scenes that you just can’t shake. Trainspotting is brutally hilarious. It is one big oxymoron of greatness and you’ll never see anything else quite like it.