Trainspotting (1996) – Choose Your Future

Danny Boyle’s “Trainspotting” is one of the most important British films ever made. Adapted from a novel by Irvine Welsh, the film is on the BFI Top 100 British films list. Besides, “Trainspotting” became the best Scottish movie of all time. It’s also considered important as a springboard for Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor. The film itself highlights the drug addiction befell a teenage group in Edinburgh. It’s a city with an average economic level. Ewan McGregor as Mark Renton is a heroin addict who always spends every day sucking heroin. Likewise with his friends such as Spud (Ewen Bremmer) and Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller). They always spend their time with heroin in Swanney’s (Peter Mullan) place, a drug seller.

One day, Mark considered many things after a high addiction to heroin. He decided to try to stop his addiction. Businesses carried out such as nailing the door of his room and others, the effort is not so easy. At a club, he meets a girl, Diane (Kelly Macdonald), and after that, it gets harder. One of his business is Begbie (Robert Carlyle), his fellow sociopath who always makes trouble. “Trainspotting” explores a drug addiction which ends with the emergence of various conflicts. In addition, this film tries to explore the effects that occur to its users. This film summarized all of them as youth representation in various conflicts.

Danny Boyle approaches the dark comedy as its main theme, regardless of this is about addiction. Mark Renton’s behavior and his friends certainly look ridiculous if they fly again. A dark comedy shows a variety of beautiful scenes. Like for example “the worst toilet in Scottland” where Mark rummaged through the toilet, even though Boyle used chocolate there. The first opening scene and the first line of the movie are just so deep it became pop culture, propaganda, and motivation. The “choose life” speech is one of the deepest and most appropriate speeches narrated by McGregor.

“Trainspotting” is not one of the most depressive films. However, there was one scene like the “baby crawl in the ceiling” scene where it was horror and so terrifying. Mark Renton’s series of end dialogues sounded hopeful starting from his adulation to the time of his rehabilitation until in the end he “chose life”. The ending feels touching but so ambiguous yet melancholic. A monologue McGregor once again uttered was so touching. The audience is indirectly carried away with ambiguous messages for anti-drug and even pro-drug.

This film has a setting in the late 80s. Located in a small town, the era also illustrates that Great Britain is trying to achieve its success. This era was also an era where British pop culture was trying to reach its path. This is an era where middle and lower class workers hang their dreams as high as the sky. The film portrays a scene from British and 90s pop culture. A first opening song “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop and Oasis is actually from an economic downturn. Just like the first opening scene when Mark and Spud ran from the pursuit of men in black. Or the speech delivered by McGregor later became a separate movement for this film.

The amount of human waste is found in this film. In addition to content about drugs, of course, this film has a lot of controversies. They assume that this film is very supportive of people who use drugs. This film wraps various moments filled with violence and blood, although there are not many. Its impressions give a brutal element but so effective. It supports the element of how life is so hard. The scene, as I said earlier, a baby crawling on the ceiling in the room is a scary scene ever existed. In fact, they showed the baby killed by a drug accidentally in sad conditions as well. Besides dark comedy, this is not an easy film.

According to the people at the time including former drug users, they understood and considered “Trainspotting” as the right circumstance. A situation where they really understand the feel of using drugs or when they fly. They also, of course, include people who are non-alcoholic, assuming that it can have an impact on their lives. It’s not about to drink another water but it’s a difficult feeling, depression, but it’s an addiction that keeps them using it. Regardless of this is an easy representation of the young generation, “Trainspotting” deals with another friendship theme. A scene when they become a drug dealer with their friends. When they get a lot of money, McGregor said that it was the greatest moment he ever feels compared to him using heroin.

This is a violent movie but not as well. Strangely, “Trainspotting” became a cult classic applied to the reality including its vocabulary. The Scottish accent contains a lot of energy even for the American audience, they cannot understand what they were saying. The whole point of this movie is that a circle around its place. It’s very difficult to get out even for an addiction besides using drugs. But, there are much joy yet fierce friends in your life. This movie has generated much in pop culture and has become a separate icon.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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