Film: Trainspotting 18 rating Year: 1996
Trainspotting DVD Cover
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Country: UK Genre: Comedy / Drama
Director: John Schlesinger
Starring: Ewan Macgregor, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kelly Macdonald, Jonny Lee Miller, Peter Mullan

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Trainspotting Synopsis - Trainspotting is set in Edinburgh and in particular it's heavy drug scene. The main character, Mark Renton, is an intelligent lad and a heroin user who is wary of turning into a Junkie. His mates Sick Boy and Spud are also heroin users. His other two mates Francis Begbie (the local psychopath) and Tommy, are anti-drugs. Renton makes various half- hearted attempts to get off the drugs but is lured back into it. Tragedy stalks Renton, as the baby of a fellow user dies whilst they are taking drugs, and one of his good friends eventually becomes a full blown junkie and dies. Renton eventually decides to get away from the scene (and his friends), so moves to London and he gets a job as an estate agent. Unfortunately his friends trickle down to London to catch up with him and Mark gets pressured into one last big deal.

Review of Trainspotting - Trainspotting heralded and new era in terms of both the book it was originally based on, and the film it spawned. The subject matter and description of the film could lead you to think that this is a very grim film indeed, however the mix of gritty realism and dark humour works beautifully. Despite its accusations of glorifying Heroin use, it managed to successfully walk the line of being an entertaining interesting story and also a relatively accurate portrayal of heroin use. Ewan Macgregor shows what a great actor he can be when he is not trying to conform to a Hollywood starring role. Robert Carlyle as Begbie is both hilarious and terrifying. Kelly Macdonald and Ewen Bremner also put in some fantastic performances.

There are a couple of flaws in the film. Firstly if you check the deleted scenes on the DVD, you will see that there is much more footage with Peter Mullan - this is a real loss to the film. Secondly the over-concious dialogue of the SickBoy character seems to jar in terms of the rest of the performances.

The reasons I recommend Trainspotting are: 1. It's almost music video stylee has been a huge influence on films since. 2. The soundtrack is glorious with some of the britpop bands of the time covering some 70's classics. 3. The main cast are superb and have almost all gone on to do major roles. 4. The character of Begbie is one of the finest anti-heroes of recent cinema.