Trainspotting is a drop-dead look at a dead-end lifestyle. Set among the junkies and thugs of Edinburgh's slums and made by (director Danny Boyle, writer John Hodge, producer Andrew Macdonald) that created 'Shallow Grave,' 'Trainspotting' caused a sensation in Britain, where it took in more money than any U.K. film except 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' and ignited strong controversy over its attitude toward heroin. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), the film's narrator, unleashes an overpowering verbal torrent that gets things off to an aggressive start.
'Choose life,' Renton insists in voice-over as store detectives chase after him for shoplifting. 'Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a [beep] big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-income mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. . . . '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?' It is very difficult to resist the film's great energy.
'Trainspotting's' subject matter is raw and raunchy, including AIDS, overdoses
and violence as well as obscene situations described in unprintable language. This is a film that makes you laugh of things that can in no way be described as funny. How is this possible? In the film's signature scene, where Renton, in search of some lost opium suppositories, dives head-first into 'the filthiest toilet in Scotland' and emerges in a sublime and spacious undersea world. And despite Renton's celebrated saying on the pleasures of heroin, boasting, 'Take the best orgasm you ever had, multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere near it,' 'Trainspotting' is...