Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin.
I vividly remember the second time I have heard this intro. I was 19 years old and finally able to understand what this movie is about. The first time I saw it, it was just another movie about drug addicts and it bore the shit out of me. It would seem that the second time was the charm. There are so many iconic scenes that I struggle to single one out. The floor one, toilet one, Spud’s interview one, or the one where Begbie throws that fucking glass, they’re all glorious.
Fuck man, the more I think about the more I realize that literally, every scene in this movie is perfect. And the best thing of all is that you can watch it over and over again. The thing about Trainspotting is the following: although this is a movie about heroin addicts, it’s also a movie that’s willing to pull back the curtains and show us what’s really happening. There’s no difference between heroin addicts and the general population except in their choice of drug.
Gen Pop, as The Wire puts it so eloquently, chooses the official system of values and is hooked for life on it, unable to break the habit. This is what pisses them off, the fact that everyone is basically the same and that there are no bad people that you can point to and say I’m better than you or something like that, but I digress. There are so many great elements that can be used to analyze society and individuals that you will find yourself overwhelmed with different aspects and conclusions.
Trainspotting is based on a book written by Irvine Welsh and directed by Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Sunshine, The Beach), this is a subversive masterpiece that you simply must check out. Yes, it has some pretty brutal scenes, but they are all necessary.
Mark Renton is a heroin addict who decided to get clean. Although deep in the scene, with most of his friends already addicted, he decides to do this and will he make it is up to you to find out.
The experience is above all realistic and engaging with a hefty amount of black humor. The houses are old and falling apart, toilets look like they escaped some fucked up nightmare. And the atmosphere is a mixture of utter desperation and happiness. Through all this, Danny Boyle is guiding us with a steady hand, entertaining while trying to tell a story. Innovative camera angles and tricks used to suck us into this world of drugs and fast life worked like a charm. Trainspotting is also very well written, with complex characters and situations.
And if I start talking about the talented acting crew this review will turn into fucking novel. It’s even got a freaking shitting scene. What more to want from a movie? If you’re looking for movies like Trainspotting, check out our Rabbit Reviews section of Movies About Drugs.
Director: Danny Boyle
Writers: Irvine Welsh, John Hodge
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle
Fun Facts: Created much controversy when it was released in the USA for its content. Senator Bob Dole charged the film with glorifying drug use, but later admitted he hadn’t seen the film.