A heroin addict tries to kick the habit but finds himself repeatedly
drawn back in by his addictive personality and selfish friends.
Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by John Hodge
Starring Ewan McGregor, Ewan Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller,
Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald,
Peter Mullan, James Cosmo, Eileen Nicholas, Susan Vidler
Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh
Oscar Nominations - Best Adapted Screenplay
If you've ever wondered what it was like to be a heroin addict, watch Trainspotting. This film shows the less then glamorous side of drug addiction and how it can ruin your entire life in every aspect. I actually went into Trainspotting thinking it was going to be a comedy, and while it did have some funny moments, it's very much not a laughing matter. This is the story of one man's repeated attempts to wean himself off of heroin, only to be dragged back to the habit by his crazy friends again and again. It contains the best performances from almost every lead actor in the film, particularly Robert Carlyle as a psychotic with a volatile personality.
Ewan McGregor stars as Mark Renton, a strung out heroin addict attempting to get clean. I don't know what McGregor did to enhance his performance, but I hope he didn't actually take heroin because I'd believe it if I was told that. He delivers arguably his best performance in what I believe is his breakout role. As I said before, Robert Carlyle is great as Begbie, a complete nut who loves to get into fights. It's a mystery why the rest of them hang around him. Then there's Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy, who spends most of the film comparing the Connery era Bond films while shooting up. It's the cast that makes the movie, considering there's very little actual plot.
It's rare to have a film contain a scene with a dead baby, which brought the film into horrific new territory. It was at this point that I realized the message that Irvine Welsh was conveying in his novel and Danny Boyle conveyed here. There is no middle ground with addiction. You can't be an addict and a parent. It's one or the other, and we all know what wins out every single time. Trainspotting is one of the best anti-drug films ever made, as it uses a talented cast and realistic script to show audiences the daily lives of heroin addicts and how their lives just go from bad to worse on a day to day basis. In that respect, this film is fantastic.