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Trainspotting, originally a novel by Irvine Welsh, is set in late 80s/early 90s Edinburgh and the narrative follows a group of heroin addicts and the pleasures and pitfalls of a life on junk. Straightaway, we're introduced to the main characters as the film kickstarts with a chase scene, accompanied by Iggy Pop's 'Lust for Life' and the infamous 'Choose Life' voiceover delivered by Ewan McGregor's Renton. What follows is a journey through addiction, relationships and friendships, with Renton eventually attempting to escape his past, when he moves to London and tries to live a 'respectable' life. But nothing's that simple, and he finds his previous lifestyle hard to escape...
The film often rattles along at the pace of an out of control train, with the pulsating soundtrack of Britpop and dance tracks, and the editing often reflects this. However, at times the pace is slowed, at points where the group's drug use rears its negative head.Ironically, the chase sequence from the beginning is featured later in the film - but in a starkly different context. On the second round, it follows a scene in which one of the junkies, Allison, finds her baby dead due to neglect. During the chase, the reckless and jaunty sounds of 'Lust for Life' are replaced by Blur's 'Sing', a much more downbeat song which, along with the context, completely changes the whole mood of the sequence.
The film features a cast of predominantly Scottish actors, many of which either had or went on to recieve acclaim for their roles. As Begbie, Robert Carlyle is intimidating and gives the impression that you'll never know what he'll do next. McGregor is indistinguishable from later roles as sappy poet Christian in 2001's Moulin Rouge and serious writer in 2010's The Ghost Writer, and his diverse career marks out his impressive acting abilities.
It's easy to see how Trainspotting made the BFI's Top 10 British films list and gained both critical and commercial acclaim. The soundtrack itself is impressive, featuring music from Pulp, Blur, Leftfield, and classics from Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, to name but a few. Although Trainspotting is often thought of as a 'drugs film', there's a lot more to the story than addiction. Relationships and friendships are foregrounded, and I'd argue them to be more relevant to the narrative than heroin. And although we see the negative consequences of drug use, the film doesn't preach at the audience about the effects. Seemingly, its a film aimed at an intelligent audience, and allows the viewer to come to their own conclusion with regards to meaning, showing the highs and the lows of drug consumption.
Trainspotting is of artistic genius. Every little segment works together to make a piece of art, not just a movie.
The background story is that Mark Renton is trying to overcome Heroin addiction and escape his 'friends'. On his mission he has sex with a 15 year old, avoids Prision and nearly dies.
Some people may think that I am being quite secretive in this review, I just don't want to spoil the plot!
I would not say there are any downsides to this film apart from that it is quite grim. But I would recommend reading the book before watch such a masterpiece.
Overall, Trainspotting has the wit of a book and an epic soundtrack to accompany it! This is one of the Reasons why Trainspotting is known as one of the best films of the 1990s! When Iggy Pop, Pulp, Blur, New Order, Joy Division and many others are included in the soundtrack it makes for a good thriller!
So it must have been around '96 or something, because England were doing alright in the football, and it was the last time I can remember when everyone in the country didn't hate each others guts.
We were all driving along on this big double decker bus painted with the Union Jack. Liam and Noel were there, wearing their little round shades, and they were like, "Is it worth the aggravation to find yourself a job when there's nothing worth working for?", and we all agreed it wasn't, because all we needed was cigarettes and alcohol.
Jarvis was there too, in his felt jacket, and we were singing along with the common people, singing along because it might just get us through; Damon was up on the top deck talking to Tony - you could tell they didn't think much of that Northern lot. Even Keith from The Prodigy was there, doing his mad dance where he jumped around and slapped his head a lot - you had to stand back a bit if you didn't want your pint spilled when he was about.
Then I don't really know what happened after all that, I think the bus went off the road and tipped over in a ditch somewhere, and I must have been in a coma for a bit, because when I woke up half a generation had gone by. Everyone was in their Thirties all of a sudden, and quite some time must have passed, because nothing seems as nostalgic as a fuzzy guitar riff on an Oasis track on a summer's afternoon, something to take you right back to when you were young and jobless and didn't give a toss.
Then there was Trainspotting - the good ship Britain was riding high on the crest of a wave, Oasis were having tea at Number 10 with Tony and his mates, and from north of the border came our answer to Pulp Fiction. (If it was crap, it would have been Scotland's answer to Pulp Fiction...)
If I'm fair, Trainspotting was probably the film that really got me into movies - the hype was enormous leading up to it's release, especially after the sleeper success of Danny Boyle's debut, Shallow Grave, and the buzz surrounding Irvine Welsh's novel. The first movie magazine I ever bought was the Trainspotting edition of Empire, and it kind of went from there.
Britain's answer to Pulp Fiction - choose Miramax, choose a teaser trailer, choose a catchy ad campaign, choose a must-have soundtrack album, choose quotable dialogue, choose posters for every teenager in the country's bedroom wall...apart from those things, Trainspotting didn't have too much in common with Tarantino's second feature, and has dated badly in comparison.
While Pulp Fiction was set in an unspecified netherworld of hipster hitmen in suits, surreal situations and esoteric tunes on the soundtrack - in other words, set inside Quentin Tarantino's head, Trainspotting was very specifically of it's own time and place, and I couldn't help the nagging sensation it was dated by the time it was released. Fifteen years on, certain scenes look about as cool and edgy as a re-run of Rab C Nesbitt. (Yes, yes, I know Rab was Glaswegian, but you get my point...)
Trainspotting opens with a burst of unadulterated energy as Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his so-called mates leg it along Edinburgh's Princes Street from the police, to the restless rat-a-tat of Iggy Pop's Lust for Life. The track became synonymous with the film, and was vital in giving it it's feeling of urgency - a feeling that it sporadically flirts with throughout the rest of the running time, but never fully recaptures.
Like many so-called "unfilmable" novels, there is very little plot and suffers from an episodic nature, heavy on voice over and low on actual dramatic situations. I believe there is no such thing as an unfilmable novel; it's just a matter of how you approach it. There is plenty of drama in Welsh's novel, most of it seething off the page in the scalding dialogue. If anything, screenwriter John Hodge has been too faithful to the novel, as if scared to veer too far away from it's chief asset, that vitriolic narrative voice - as a result, big chunks end up piled on top of the images as a voice over.
Because of this, the characters suffer - there are very few scenes of any real length, or scenes where the characters actually converse with each other. Like the iconic orange and black poster campaign, the characters are isolated figments, restricted and constrained by the bite sized anecdotes they appear in, with no room to grow.
The only character that really develops is McGregor's Renton, and that's partly because McGregor is a magnificent actor, and partly because you can't actually get away from Renton in Trainspotting - not only is he the main character, he's also the narrator, and has a certain omniscience, even offering a spot of V.O on other character's stories.
Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller) looks cool alright, but basically spends the whole film talking about Sean Connery - there is nothing to touch upon his selfish, bitter soul like the novel; Begbie (Robert Carlyle) has a few moments, but is more of a cartoonish presence than the malevolent, psychotic wifebeater of the book. Diane (Kelly McDonald) matches Renton for smarts as his jailbait girlfriend, although is limited to a few small scenes, and sympathetic Spud (Ewan Bremner) is basically in it to provide some incomprehensibly motormouthed comic relief, and also prick Renton's conscience.
Trainspotting begins at a sprint, then runs out of puff pretty quickly, and Boyle occasionally tries to inject some energy with some flashy scenes, with mixed results. Most notable is a sequence where Renton loses his heroin suppositories down a filthy toilet in a bookies. In the book, it is a squalid, pathetic scene as he rummages desperately through other people's muck to get them back; Boyle turns it into a fantasy sequence where he disappears head first down the toilet, swims along to some nice music, and re-emerges with his bum bullets. It looks cool, but loses all its impact.
Shorn of the detailed dialogue and characterization of Welsh's novel, it pretty much boils down to drugs are brilliant, then you get addicted, then drugs are bad. Thanks!
1996 and all that - Cool Britannia, crest of the wave, a curious mix of fatalism and optimism. Is it worth the aggravation to find yourself a job, Oasis asked, when there's nothing worth working for, while taking tea with Tony at Number 10. England were doing well in the football, but what caught the spirit of the Nation during Euro '96 was Three Lions, a song about how bitter and disappointing it was to be an England fan. Trainspotting, our answer to Pulp Fiction, pretended to be the most nihilistic of the lot - Choose Life, it ironically said - but turned out to be the most vaporous and intangible of them all.
(This article was first published on my Wordpress blog - http://wp.me/p1XeiS-2o)
Choose life? Choose everything. Choose...........
Danny Boyle was put firmly on the map with this stark and brutal look at the damage drugs can do to your life, focusing on a small group of youths in Edinburgh as they go about their daily mundane existence. Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, Boyle makes sure the camera is put to good use and the imagination is triggered as we sit through an hour and a half of powerful cinema.
The film follows our gang of youths, all friends, all with difference goals and ideals in life. They go about their day with their extremely different personalities, knowing that their lives are in their own hands, but somehow they are all linked by one thing: drugs. They're addicted, and can't get enough of the stuff, shooting up every five seconds, and this is what ultimately rules their lives.
Boyle's direction takes on a bit of a frantic style, following the main character, Renton (Ewan Macgregor) as he tries to dig himself out of the whole he's in, finding ways of escaping before his friends' existence inevitably draws him back in. There are some stark scenes that are very disturbing, and these are a bit of a surprise the first time you see them. The film starts off with Iggy Pop's Lust For Life accompanying our leads as they seem to be having the time of their lives, running away from the police, but this is just one of many ways Boyle shows the highs as well as the lows of drug taking.
But it would be unfair to suggest that this is all Boyle and Welsh are doing here. Society in general is at fault, if you believe the writer and the director, with unemployment, benefits, the system, living conditions and crime all explored in decent enough detail to get the message across. The drugs are merely the lynchpin that fuse them all together in its presentation to show us just exactly what society has done to these once promising young men.
The acting is spot on, with familiar names such as Johnny Lee Miller and Robert Carlisle also getting involved, allowing their own demons to be let loose on the screen and throwing everything into their characters. There's a strong element of dark comedy involved here as well, and when someone is down on their luck Boyle really makes it show, giving the characters a long and winding road to stumble down before dragging them straight back out again and sit them right back where they started: in trouble.
The visuals and the soundtrack make this so watchable. The dialogue is snappy and makes you listen, the characters' facial expressions and desperation make you feel for them, and the inventive special effects as the hallucinations kick in make it hard for you to look anywhere else. There's a lot of swearing, violence and drug abuse on show, and nothing is shied away from when it comes to sending out a message that drugs are bad, and look what could happen to you if you fall into the trap and get hooked. The message is strong, oh so very strong.
I thought this was brilliant. I enjoy Macgregor as an actor and Boyle as a director, and this film came along at a time when the industry needed a societal British film that went for the jugular - and it does. I suggest you take a deep breath before watching this, as it's not for the faint of heart and is offensive. It'll certainly entertain though - recommended.
I picked up this little gem for a measly £2.00. I know it's quite an old movie but stilll a bargain at this price. I generally find English films very boring especially the historic movies but the British seem too make really good movies in three categories,war movies, gangster movies, youth culture movies. This film definitely falls under youth culture covering everything form drugs, violence, unemployment, crime and much more. I can honestly say that this is one of the best British movies I've ever seen.
This 1996 youth comedy is directed by Danny Boyle and produced by Andrew Macdonald and is based on the novel of the same name by Irene Welsh. In 2004 it was voted the best Scottish movie of all time. Despite being set in Edinburgh almost all the film was filmed in Glasgow.
Trainspotting is the highest grossing British film of 1996 and the fourth highest UK grossing film in history. The film had a budget of £3,500,000 and gross revenue of £72,000,000.
The film follows a group of Scottish youths who turn to drugs to escape their modern day existence but soon realise it comes at a price. The film focuses on Mark Renton as he tries to give up his heroin habit and lead a normal life.
This film does not hold back and is brutally honest about many issues facing the youth off today and is not for those who are easily offended. It covers very real issues and puts its message across using both humour and shockingly graphic images. There are some clever scenes that leave it to the viewer to decide what they mean and each person will have there own view.
My point being it gets you thinking at cleverly lures you in thinking it's just a comedy that at first almost glamorises drugs but then spanks you in the face with the horrific dark side of that world. The cast are all equally brilliant and the characters are all unique and interesting. I'm not a great fan of Ewan McGregor but really enjoyed his performance and think this was his best ever role. This definitely ticks all the boxes for me and deserves to be in any one's DVD collection.
Jonny Lee Miller
If you like your British, gritty films then this is one for you. A fan of films such as This is England, Goodbye Charlie Bright and Human Traffic, it was inevitable that Trainspotting was going to be a big hit with myself. The only mystery is how I've gone on for so long without seeing the film/reading the book! As a bit of a film addict and a book worm, it is mysterious to me as to how I've managed to avoid this fabulous tale for so long.
Critics may argue that Trainspotting, like some of the aforementioned films, glamorise aspects for criminal life, but then for the purpose of audience enjoyment this is perhaps an inevitability. Ewan McGregor is at his best in this film, and portrays the main character very well, although only a small portion of his role involves depicting the hellish experience of cold turkey (not something which I can relate to first hand!).
The film is a great watch, and does follow the familiar formula of these gritty dramas in terms of depicting the character's rise, enjoying the buzz of the drug before crashing down. Where Trainspotting differs, is that the main character does end on a high, and only a small portion of the film focuses on McGregor's character's demise, instead showing his fight to rebuild his life after becoming consumed by the drug.
A fabulous watch, which is a must for any film-buffs collection. Next on my agenda is to read the book, which if it is as half as good as is the film, will be very good indeed!
Trainspotting released in 1996 is a grim, sometimes depressing look at the drug scene in Edinburgh and is brought to us by the same team that gave us Shallow Grave in 1994. Sometimes funny but mainly hard-hitting and powerful this film is a really good insight into the drug culture and how it can take hold of lives.
Ewan McGregor puts in a strong performance as Mark Renton, a heroin addict with a collection of strange mates that don't really fit in anywhere. First there is Sick Boy played by Jonny Lee Miller who is a drug dealer in his spare time but not for serious money. Next we have Spud played by Ewan Bremner. He is a character who follows the crowd and looks like he will never succeed at anything. And finally there is Begbie played by Robert Carlyle, a violent man who can turn at the click of a switch and pick a fight.
The movie begins dramatically and gets you interested straight away as we see Renton runnning towards us down the street as he is chased for another petty crime to feed his drug habit. The film certainly doesn't depict drug use as a glamorous past time here. There are several disturbing scenes within the film as he is either hooked on drugs or trying to get off them.
The movie is fascintating insight into how lives can be wrecked by drugs and although it doesn't cast judgement on whether you should take drugs or not it certainly doesn't make them out to be wonderful, far from it in fact. It is a highly charged rollecoaster ride throughout and you are left wondering if the main characters will survive and come through this world they are immersed in. For me it's one of the best British films ever made and the cast are brilliant in the roles they play and really bring the whole thing to life.
Highly recommended film but definately not one for children. It does somewhat teach us that drugs are no good or if you still want to use them take a look at what devestation they cause. Perhaps a little hard-hitting at times but then it has to be and there are moments of humour thrown in for good measure here and there throughout to lighten the mood a bit.
Reasons For Purchasing:
I first saw the film Trainspotting after hearing so much controversy about it on television, from reading about it in the newspapers and from everyone talking about it around me at the time. It was all everyone was talking about on it's release in 1996 and of course I just had to see it for myself to see what all the hype was about. Well I went to the pictures to watch this film and was quite shocked by this outrageously, yet brilliant tale of five Scottish drug users. It really was a hard-hitting film, but was put across like nothing I had ever really seen before. I think I liked it so much because it was a very real to life story and drugs where a big problem that was actually going on at that time, so I was pleased to see this film go out like some sort of warning for young people to never try this stuff because of what the characters all went through in this film.
Well it was only a few years ago that my husband purchased Trainspotting to add to our DVD collection as we both really enjoyed watching it over the years at various times on television (in a sick kind of way I guess). He picked it up second-hand for £1 at a car boot sale, so it certainly was a great bargain. This film really will not be suited to everyone though. I think you will either love it like I do, or absolutely hate it. It certainly is worth watching once though just to see.
Well Trainspotting has to be the liveliest, most pulse racing, addictive, outrageous, hard hitting, rollercoaster ride of a movie, that I have ever seen, on the shocking portrayal of drug addiction. It certainly is one of the best films to ever come out of the UK 'in my opinion' and a movie that will be watched and talked about for a long, long time to come. Danny Boyle directed this film, but forget his glory with Slumdog Millionaire for a moment...Well I will stick my neck out here and say this is Danny Boyle's best film. Yes it is!
Trainspotting was released in February 1996 and is based on a novel written by Irvine Welsh. I myself have yet to read this book, but I will get around to reading it for comparison. Well Trainspotting was Directed by Danny Boyle and was Produced by Andrew Macdonald. It cost £3,500,000 to make so was very low budget really. Trainspotting is in the top ten list of 'Best British Films' ever made and I personally would say it is near the very top of it. Trainspotting was very successful upon it's release also. It hit it big in the UK and also in America. It also won around 18 awards apparently, but failed on an Academy award. Time magazine also awarded Trainspotting the third best film of 1996. A little bit of controversy surrounded the film at the time. Some people said it supported and glorified drug use and others said the complete opposite. I think overall it was a frightening portrayal of drug use and it certainly would of not 'and still would not' make me want to touch the stuff after seeing how it effects the characters in this movie.
Well Trainspotting follows and is centred around the adventures 'or misadventures' really of five young lowlifes from Edinburgh in Scotland. Nearly all of them are Heroin addicts, but this film is not about making them look pitiful or anything like that. It Portrays them more as who they really are and how they want to be seen or accepted as.
Plot Of Film:
Set in the 1980's, Trainspotting begins with Mark Renton and his friend Spud being chased by security guards down a busy Edinburgh street. Mark Renton has nothing going for him really, has few ambitions in his life and is constantly having run in's with the law. The film is also very cleverly narrated by Mark Renton from the start of it also, who is giving his famous 'choose life' speech in the opening scene, of not wanting a proper family lifestyle, but instead choosing to live in the constant drug fuelled one he is surrounded by. We are then quickly introduced in this film to his other friends, who's lives all centre around their strong heroin addictions also.
The film really focuses on it's characters and who they all really are. It covers their will for a better lifestyle, which is drug free of course, but also shows the many reasons they stay hooked on drugs also. Well they have fun, suffer the consequences of drugs and travel through the darkest corners of Edinburgh's low-life to bring us a tale of self-destruction and of struggling to choose a normal life at times also. It almost is a plot-free story though.
Ewan McGregor - Mark Renton.
Ewen Bremner - Spud.
Jonny Lee Miller - Sick Boy.
Kevin McKidd - Tommy.
Robert Carlyle - Francis Begbie.
Kelly MacDonald - Diane.
Keith Allen - Dealer.
A Short Introduction To The Characters:
Mark Renton's (Ewan McGregor) escape from his unhappy life is through the use of drugs and mostly heroin, although he would try anything he could get his hands on really. He has many friends also, who are a group of liars, thieves and complete lunatics and are actually more disturbed than he is really. There is Sick Boy played by (Jonny Lee Miller) who is a real con-artist and who's hero is Sean Connery. There is also Spud (Ewan Bremner) who is a quiet and a very timid junkie. Then there's Begbie (Robert Carlyle) who gets his thrills in life from beating people up and is comical to watch. Finally there's Tommy (Kevin McKidd) who is always fighting the temptation to take heroin. Well they really are a right bunch of characters indeed.
Trainspotting is certainly a very shocking film in some places, but it never once comes across as being shown like this just for the sake of it at all. It really is a terrible life that these young characters are living, from what I can see as a viewer, from the outside looking in. From another angle though it is presented as hilariously funny at times and I found myself smiling and laughing a lot. Some scenes are far fetched and shocking, but I loved it all. The use of music, 'for example' Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" sarcastically used in a 'not so perfect day' is excellently and cleverly placed. Nothing is held back in this film at all. We are hit with everything and it makes this film a very unique and an enjoyable one indeed!
The Characters are all low life losers in Trainspotting. They are heroin addicts who come across as very real life people to me indeed. They are bad people really, but not evil. Their lives are gruesome and appalling, but they are all very interesting, witty, smart and in the end liked by me. I guess they come across as friends I should not really have. They are all different in character, but all share one interest and that is drugs. Trainspotting leaves nothing out from these drug addicts and hides nothing either. Needles are shown, death is shown and the appalling state these guys live in is also shown. It makes you sad at times also just watching them. Their addiction is so strong that it leaves them powerless. They think they are living normally when they are certainly not.
Well I personally thought this film was excellent. I loved everything about it. It really is very fast paced and flows along very nicely and had me on the edge of my seat at times. It also had me laughing out loud a lot at it also. There really is plenty of humour and very witty comments from all of the characters. It really is shocking at times. I mean shocking! It is full of repulsive swear words, but you do laugh at them and the way they are used also. Things we really don't show or talk about are all in this film and it is a real eye opener. It dares to go to places that no one at that time went to, but this made it all very exciting really and gives it a buzz.
Trainspotting never once lost my attention from it either. Not for a second. I was totally glued to it and caught up in the whole story from the word go. It really is Danny Boyles best film in my opinion and one of the best starring Ewan McGregor also. The director certainly did not make any mistakes with it at all. He seems to fit so much into the short 94 minutes of the running of it also, so this keeps you there focused and fully engrossed.
Trainspotting really does tell the truth about these drug addicts though. It tells it like it is and shows all these characters as bad guys with flaws and in a sick, strange and perverted kind of way, I really did find myself attracted to them all. They took me on their emotional rollercoaster ride and probably one of the most unique and yet 'bazzar' one's I have ever been on before. Trainspotting though was not just about heroin use to me. It was about friendship also.
Another thing I found, that this film really give me an experience of what it is like to take drugs, what it is like to be on a hit with them (from feeling great inside to being depressed and seeing things) and what it is like to go cold turkey also. It certainly was well researched and put across to us viewers, as I actually felt and saw the pain it caused also. I also think this film should be shown to all older teenagers as hopefully it would make them think twice before taking drugs.
Well even though Trainspotting has not really got a plot to it, I found the characters, the acting, the cinematography excellent and it really gives out a clear intense message as to what this film is really all about to me. Drug use and it's consequences. It really will leave a lasting impression on you and some scenes you never will forget after watching them, as some are really very disturbing. There is very few films though that I have watched that have come across as being so daring or to be this honest before. It will get right under your skin at times I found also. It certainly is an amazing portrayal of a difficult and hard-hitting subject of heroin addiction that shows graphic descriptions, but overall is a fantastic performance. It played with all of my emotions like no other film has ever done before.
All of the cast in Trainspotting are excellent actors and certainly played all of their roles given to them exceptionally well. Ewan McGregor certainly was the star of Trainspotting and played the main character of Mark Renton. His acting is in top form and he comes across as smart, witty and a real livewire. He plays the role of a drug addict amazingly and he makes you believe that he really is one. He even looks as if he lost weight in the film and looks extremely ill in one scene also.
Well all of the other characters play their roles very well. They are all very individual characters and really do become your low life friends. I found the Scottish accents very good also as most of the actors where actually not from Scotland. They really are a very unique and an interesting group of people that we quickly get introduced to and want to get to know about them all a little more.
Scenes, Location, Make-up and Special Effects:
Trainspotting is mostly filmed in the streets in and around Edinburgh, but I believe they filmed some of them actually in Glasgow. It shows many run down areas, derelict buildings and squats used by drug addicts that look very real and how you would imagine them to be. It really has a real Scottish tone to it all. The visual side and how we see a mugging as a ballet is well thought out in my opinion also. The use of one strong colour in certain scenes also shows us what is real and what is not and is well thought out. The use of greying out of colours in a death scene really makes this scene more shocking than it already is also. Along with using pop music for drug hits and other shocking events, it really is very well put together visually by the film producers indeed.
The scenes of drug using in this film are all set in dirty filthy rooms and vile toilets. It really shows what conditions are like when living this life with drugs. The use of make-up to show the characters looking pale and high on drugs or going cold turkey is very realistic and well-done also. A few good special effects involving a toilet are great 'if somewhat bazaar though' and are well done visually.
All of the costumes are just typically 1980's styled clothes worn by the cast. They look worn and dirty by the drug users, but they help to create this eighties feel to the film along with the haircuts also.
My Favourite Quotes From The Movie:
(1) Renton describes one drug-dealing friend, "We called him Mother Superior on account of the length of his habit."
(2) Renton: In a thousand years, there will be no men and women, just w**kers, and that's fine by me.
Music Throughout The Film:
The use of music and songs in Trainspotting is excellent. The way some songs are placed into certain scenes is outstanding. The soundtrack to Trainspotting was very popular also on it's release, but did not include all the songs used in the film, so a few years after the original was released another updated version was made and includes nearly all of the songs in the movie. It certainly is worth buying also if you enjoyed the film. The chosen songs really helped to make this film in my opinion and give the whole atmosphere to it all. Trainspotting certainly has one of the best soundtracks of the 1990's.
My two favourite tracks from the film are:
Lust for Life ~ Iggy Pop.
Perfect Day ~ Lou Reed.
I know myself when I first watched this film, that I could not figure out why the author had chosen the name Trainspotting as a title, because as far as I could see, there was nothing in the film about studying trains. Well apparently it is a word with a double barrel name that I only found out the meaning of a few years ago myself. Well the other tern for Trainspotting is to search for a suitable vein for drug injection, so this fit's the title of the film very well.
Well I also found another meaning as to why the title is called Trainspotting. Trainspotting is used to describe a group of Trainspotters and people often say to them to "Get A life" because they spend their time writing down serial numbers of trains, so "Get A Life" could also be said to the characters in the film also.
The copy of Trainspotting I own is an old 1998 original one that came on one disc, with just the chapter menu and movie trailer. A new collectors addiction is now available with many extras for fans.
My Overall Opinion:
Well Trainspotting has a mixture of pleasure and pain really, throughout it. More pleasure though, but the pain is certainly hard-hitting. You really will be cringing one minute and laughing out loud the next. Trainspotting really does tell the truth about these drug addicts in my opinion. It really takes you on a trip 'sort of speak' (no pun intended) with these young people through their actual drug hits, their cold turkeys and their low lives they really are living. We get into the deepest, darkest corners of these guys souls and it really is very disturbing at times, but also very amusing to watch. It is excellent though. I love it. I love everything about this film in that sick sort of way, that others who have not watched this film before would probably think I am twisted. Well if you have seen it, you will know what I mean though.
Well I would have to highly recommend Trainspotting for you to watch. It is one of my favourites films ever. I honestly think you will either love this film or hate it, but I certainly recommend watching it to find out. It really is an open and honest story of the lives of drug addicts, which is very interesting, fun at times and extremely different viewing. The casts performance is excellent. The soundtrack is fun, entertaining and lively. It really will keep you watching and focused and without wanting to miss a second of it for the whole 94 minutes of it's running. A big thumbs up from me and a full five stars awarded. It is excellent!
Trainspotting can be purchased online at Amazon and Ebay (new) at the moment for a few pounds. A new uncut two disc version can also be purchased for £26.00 with many extras including missing scenes, editors interview, an interview with the publisher of the book 'Irvine Welsh' and behind the scenes material also, so if you're a huge fan of the film it might be worth upgrading to this one, but it seems very expensive to me. Of course you can rent it out of catch it on television also. Certainly do watch it if you have not done so before.
Trainspotting is rated R (Under 17 requires an accompanying parent or guardian). It includes sexual situations, frontal nudity, graphic drug use, excrement, swear words and startling violence so be prepared!
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Danny Boyle shot to fame with two hot hits in a very short time - Shallow Grave in 1994, and one of his best films in 1996, Trainspotting, a harrowing, darkly funny look at drug addiction with some insanely good performances, chiefly from Ewan McGregor in the lead role. It's this kind of filmmaking that allowed Boyle to hone his craft and finally ascend to Oscar glory with his latest film, Slumdog Millionaire.
The film opens as we meet a bunch of lads in Edinburgh, led by Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor). His friends are Spud (Ewen Bremner), a socially inept syocphant, Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller), a smooth operator, Tommy (Kevin McKidd), a footballer, and perhaps the most famous of all - Francis Begbie (Robert Carlyle), a violent and crazed psychopath. All but the latter two have abandoned what is conventionally referred to as careers, and decided to spend their lives in Heroin-induced stupors. Tommy and Begbie, though, openly despise Heroin, and therefore it's hard to accuse the film of romanticising drug use too much, as it does have both sides of the argument covered.
Whilst it depicts them as sympathetic characters, it is in fact mostly critical of their behaviour, showing the troubles of going through withdrawal, and just quite how disturbed their hallucinations become is rather terrifying, most notably as Renton believes that he sees a baby crawling along his ceiling, whose head then spins around. The film does have some hope for redemption, though, as he meets Diane (Kelly Macdonald), a cheeky and clever girl who has her fair share of secrets, but may be the secret to Renton keeping level-headed.
Whilst perhaps a bit overrated, this is a gritty, raw British film about drugs. The opening scene is by now iconic, and if you can stomach the disturbing and trippy scenes, this is one to watch. McGregor is fantastic in this.
British film maker Danny Boyle, who also directed this year's big Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire, directed in 1996 what can probably be considered his mos acclaimed work. I haven't yet seen Slumdog Millionaire but the story really doesn't catch my attention... Anyway, in certain ways this movie kinda reminds me of Stanley Kubricks "Clockwork Orange", although not dealing with the same theme, but it is definitely worth watching.
The main theme of this film is drug abuse, particularly heroin, which a group of youngsters depends on to escape a society full of prejudice, hypocrisy and without a clear path to follow. Depression, delusion and anguish. these youngsters are the intelligent Renton (Ewan McGregor), the violent Begbie (Robert Carlyle), clumsy Spud (Ewen Bremmer) and selfish Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller). Begbie is actually only addicted to alcohol.
The movie also portrays the friendship between the characters and analyzes whether they are as close friends as they seem, since there is a progressive degradation of their relationship with the increasing unsustainability of their situations.
The stronger features of this psychedelic movie include a luxurious sound track that includes, among others, Primal Scream, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and Underworld, the satire scenes (such as the one with the toilet, the baby in the ceiling and the joke on Scottish people) and the great performances of McGregor and Carlyle.
On the weak side I would mention a certain repetition of some scenes, the fact that, in reality, heroin dependence is not as easy to "cure" as they make it seem and the argument which does not seem fully original (Clockwork Orange keeps popping to mind), although it was nominated for best an Oscar...
In any case, this movie presents the viewer with generally good quality that will leave you thinking about it for some time and also shows off Danny Boyle's talented directing skills.
Drug abuse depicted in this film is not shown as anything cool or hip to do - in the contrary to other films of the period that seemed to glorify the taking of drugs. In fact, taking heroin in Trainspotting isn't even portrayed as an option but rather a need. Though for this reason on its release it was complained about because though it didn't make drugs seem like something cool or impressive it also didn't pass any judgment on the characters taking them. And this is the reason i like this film - i dont want to be preached too by some know it all director that wants to give me his 2 cents on why drugs are bad blah blah blah, i love the fact that Boyle respects my intelligence enough as an audience member to make up my own decisions about drugs in my life. This is why this film works and this is why it is a success.
Because Boyle doesn't include some protensious bollocks about the reasons for drugs being bad and rather lets you watch Renton and his pals we get a chance for a simply brilliant and humorous insight into some young lads lives who really don't know what to do with themselves. We get to watch as, in bleak and comedic fashion, they all piss away their lives without really a care in the world. We get to make our own impressions as an audience about the use of drugs and see how they can effect people in real life. We get to see how young lads during the period in Scotland would spend their days trying not to give in to bordom and rather have a laugh and make a good time out of things - though only to learn they weren't very good at making these decisions.
Trainspotting remains as a brilliantly directed work and one of Boyle's best - definitely one of the best films to come out of Britain in the last 20 years. It also opened up cinema to a whole heap of new comers to obvious of course being Ewan McGregor who played the part of Renton fantastically and is now getting deserved success.
Trainspotting is a film from the mid-1990's, and is both grim and fascinating.
Sadly, it was the film chosen by my now-husband for our first proper date at the cinema back in 1996. How romantic (not)!
The story, originally a book by the great author Irvine Walsh, follows a group of apparent no-hopers living in the Edinburgh drug scene, and tells the tale of what happens to them all.
Most of the characters are not particularly likeable, save for maybe Ewan McGregors character, Renton.
Robert Carlisle makes an early film appearance as the truly terrifying psychopath Begbie, who none of the group really want hanging around them anymore, but no-one dares tell him.
Some of the scenes in the film are truly stomach churning and not for the faint hearted - in particular, the film seems to feature a lot of, er, poo. Each to their own, but not really my favourite thing.
The gang seem to be on the slippery slope to oblivion, and as a viewer, I found that I just didn't care.
There are some gripping scenes with the characters in a squat, and a terrible event that happens because of it. Also, there are portrayals of heroin withdrawal that are pretty haunting, and better than any anti-drug education I received at school.
The next part of the plot involves the gang getting off drugs and Renton making a new start in London. However, his 'friends' are not keen to see one of their own doing so well, and it's not going to be as easy as he thinks.
I have seen Trainspotting many times over the years, and although it repels me, I always end up watching it - so it does have that 'something' to draw you in. Ultimately though, although there are many scenes of humour as well, I found it a bit depressing, although the soundtrack was excellent!
1995 saw the release of one of the most controversial and influential films in British Cinema history - Trainspotting. Based on the book of the same name by Irvine Walsh, the film centred on a group of heroin addicts and their friends. Walsh managed to perfectly empathise the hopelessness of drug addiction, and was a grim depiction of mid nineties life in Glasgow.
The film featured superb performances, in particular from Robert Carlyle, an aggressive alcoholic who looks down on the substance addicted bunch and the star of the show (and also the narrator) Ewan McGregor. This was probably the film which made McGregor the star he is today and he hasn't looked back.
It's grim and gritty but its also funny and heart warming in places, and features a superb soundtrack, including the euphoric Born Slippy Underworld. This film truly is a masterpiece and one which needs to be seen by all. It's got astronomic highs and gutter level lows, and they'll take you on a ride you've never been on before.
A film which shows the darker side of Edinburgh from the drug scene which is rife to the poorer areas on the outskirts of the city. The opening scene running down Princes St with the brilliant 'choose life, choose a job' speech is well known even to people who have not seen the film and you will be hooked from the start.
The main character Mark is brilliantly played by Ewan McGregor and you really want him to put the drugs behind him and find a better life. He comes across as an intelligent young man who is capable of a lot more and for this reason he is a frustrating character.
One of my favourite characters is 'Begbie' played by Robert Carlyle who is basically a complete psycho there is one scene in the pub where Begbie is telling a story about one fight he has been in, I will try not to spoil the film for anyone who has not seen it but this is one of the craziest scenes I have ever seen. You will laugh at a lot of the incidents in this film involving Begbie and this is sometimes through shock at how over the top he can be. But you do not ever feel that Robert Carlyle is overplaying the part which would have been easy to do. Jonny Lee Millar and a few others do a great job in creating a film about drug addiction and its far reaching affects. From how to pay for their drugs to their relationships with their family this
There are quite a few shocking scenes including a really gory fighting scene and you will see a lot of really dark things like deaths and overdosing which is why I feel the some of the other scenes really balance this film out.
The film that effectively launched the star careers of Robert Carlyle, Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller is a hard, barbed picaresque, culled from the bestseller by Irvine Welsh and thrown down against the heroin hinterlands of Edinburgh. Directed with abandon by Danny Boyle, Trainspotting conspires to be at once a hip youth flick and a grim cautionary fable. Released on an unsuspecting public in 1996, the picture struck a chord with audiences worldwide and became adopted as an instant symbol of a booming British rave culture (an irony, given the characters' main drug of choice is heroin not ecstasy).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