Trainspotting (1996) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A wild, freeform, Rabelaisian trip through the darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life, focusing on Mark Renton and his attempt to give up his heroin habit, and how the latter affects his relationship with family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy, dimbulb Spud, psycho Begbie, 14-year-old girlfriend Diane, and clean-cut athlete Tommy, who's never touched drugs but can't help being curious about them... Runtime: 94 mins Release Date: 18 Jul 1996
One of the best films of the 1990s. (by omophagia-2)
In the aftermath of _Pulp Fiction_, much of the filmmaking of the 1990s thrived upon attempts to appear "edgy" within the constructs of independent films, or merely to provide empty shock value cliches. And no film ever came close to the sheer cleverness of Tarantino's masterpiece._Trainspotting_, however, somehow manages to take the excesses of the mid-90s and rise far, far above the cinematic cliches that it easily could have become. A film that tackles any hot-button social issue can, and usually does, simply become a didactic propaganda piece. Thankfully, _Trainspotting_ is <more>
vastly more intelligent in its edginess and its shock.In order to appreciate _Trainspotting_ fully, the viewer must abandon any preconceptions about what defines truly great cinema, because this film defies convention at nearly every turn. And with the rapid pace of its plot, that's quite a bit of ground to cover.Though a great deal of the picture's brilliance is derived from director Danny Boyle's consistent rejection of typical cinematic techniques, the most satisfying and _best_ aspect of _Trainspotting_ is that Boyle creates a film that is neither pro-drug or anti-drug. Instead, he maintains a rare objectivity throughout the film, depicting this fascinating array of complex, beautifully acted characters with an honesty that it seldom captured on film. And, given the life that each character lives, it's nearly incomprehensible that a director would refrain from influencing the viewer's impressions in any way, yet that's exactly what Boyle does.The dialogue-- or at least what portions of the brogue-drenched dialogue American viewers will be able to comprehend-- is alternately hilarious, raw, and brutal. And Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle bring a remarkable compassion and depth to their portrayals of characters that could have easily lapsed into cliche.Despite its sheer brilliance, _Trainspotting_ is not a film that's easy to watch. The viewer is bombarded with images that transcend visceral discomfort in their horror-- this movie contains two of the most graphic, horrifying scenes I've ever encountered. But, amazingly, none of these elements is used merely for shock value. Though the viewer will be mortified by some of the things that happen onscreen-- the well-documented dive into Scotland's most vile public toilet, for example-- these scenes all make _perfect sense_ within the context of a masterfully told story.In order to notice all of the subtlety that also exists in _Trainspotting_, repeat viewings are necessary, primarily to reduce some of the most powerful shocks ever-so-slightly, though their effects are never lost entirely. Some of the images will likely haunt even the most cynical, jaded viewer for weeks.RATING: 10 out of 10. Never patronizing and completely unpretentious, _Trainspotting_ is one of the most daring, unconventional films ever made. It inspires a level of discomfort rivaled by very few movies, because, even at its most graphic, Boyle never insults the viewer with mere shock tactics. Brilliantly acted, directed, and written, with a truly rare objectivity that allows each viewer to interpret its story on his/her own terms.
After reading some of the reviews that trash this film I had to speak up.This film is gritty and dirty. There is content which is not pleasant, swearing and violence amounts other things. What else would you expect a film about drug addiction to be about? Well more than that actually, it about choices and what you Choose! Never at any point did this film make drugs look at all appealing to me in any way, I never did understand why so many people thought that it did. At no point did it ever say "Look at this, its cool." For those who think the level of swearing in this film is too <more>
much then they clearly haven't spent any time with working class people in Britain, not just Scotland. I being one of them can say its fairly accurate in that account.That being said, those things do not take anything away from the film, the quality of plot and story, or the acting which is Stunning! Robert Carlise as Begbe was excellent, and Ewan MacGregor shined. Also the character Spud was worth a mention he really was quite good.This film is in my Opinion a work of Genius, that represents the book accurately.
One of the best films ever - a lot of people missed the point (by MovieAddict2016)
It's ironic that I'm saying "many people missed the point" because I did, too. My original review on IMDb gave the film a negative rating. I deleted it months ago because I have since purchased the Director's Cut on DVD and fallen in love with it.The movie is energetic, imaginative and unique. It's taken from Irvine Welsh's novel, which I now really want to read. It's about a group of heroin addicts led by Ewan McGregor's Renton in Scotland who can't seem to live past their addiction...everything centers around drugs."Trainspotting" was <more>
condemned for promoting drug use, but I agree with fellow reviewer Bob the Moo who claims this was a misinterpretation on the media's behalf - yeah, it may show drugs as being "funny" at times like Renton's wacky hallucination but it certainly doesn't glamorize them. Some of the sequences are sickeningly realistic and depressing - like the scene with the baby. That's tragic stuff, and totally unexpected. It's also effective because by that point in the film we care about the characters enough for it to affect us on an emotional level.The movie was really popular in the UK but never got much acclaim overseas. Americans in general will always be less liberal and be quicker to damn films for their messages. "Taxi Driver" was hailed by Europeans in '76...can't really say the same for US critics - it was a huge split in opinion at the time.Ditto here. Most Americans didn't really "get it" and the only attention it received was the controversy surrounding the appearance of Mr. McGregor's genitalia. Oh, the humanity! If you haven't seen "Trainspotting" yet, I highly recommend it. Don't be turned off at first by its bleak humor and sick content - I won't lie, it IS a rough ride...but by the end, it's worth it.
Take the best orgasm you've ever had multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere near "Trainspotting." (by Sergeant_Tibbs)
In 1996 John Hodge took Irvine Welsh's novel "Trainspotting" and with the help of Danny Boyle's direction created one of the most influential, modern cult classics Britain has to offer. Commonly ranked among the greatest films of the 90s; "Trainspotting" delivers satisfactory viewing every single time. The essential drug film.The term "trainspotting" in this case, is not the non-drug based hobby, but has two meanings for this film. A The act of "trainspotting" is UK slang for trying to find a vein to intravenously inject drugs. And B A joke <more>
not featured in the film, but two of the characters go to a disused train station to buy drugs and say they are going "trainspotting".Ewan McGregor stars as Mark Renton, a performance that put him on the map, a man who spends; or wastes, most of his time taking drugs with his friends in one of their apartments. Until he decides to finally pack it in and go cold turkey. We see the highs and lows of the drugs as Renton attempts to build a new life. He battles the strain and the influences of his mates; including Sick Boy Johnny Lee Miller a man who stops at nothing to take all, Spud Ewen Bremner a fast-paced anxious performance and Francis Begbie Robert Carylye a frighteningly intense character who is possibly my favourite of all-time; and Renton's sex life.Vibrant colour is used to exaggerate the actions to intensify the imagery on screen. This also makes it stand out from other films creating a massive impact on the viewer. Unforgettable. The soundtrack consists of the pop culture the characters themselves love and some regularly featured in real life at the time. The film captures the era perfectly.Danny Boyle's stylish direction is what mainly is so appealing about the film. Delivering an expertly structured adrenalin rush. The daring topic of the film was well perceived by critics and audiences to claim universal praise. But, they were still unsure if it was supporting drugs or an anti-drug film. In a way it is both.We are guided through the film with Renton's narration, making it an extremely watchable viewing, one irresistible to want to experience several times. A hilarious triumph. This is movie-making at its most exhilarating.9/10
One of my all-time favorite comedies, although a somewhat "dark" one. (by TxMike)
I'm still not sure how the title "Trainspotting" relates to the story, but this is one of my favorite comedies and I rate it 9 of 10. It deals with some rough subjects - hard drug use, HIV, premature death, theft, bloodshed. But the movie in a great sense is about the attempts of one main character to go straight and "choose life", but his 4 dastardly friends end up making that very, very difficult.It starts in Edinburgh, moves to London, then back to Edinburgh. The situations and dialog generally are very well written and performed. You have to have a sick sense of <more>
humor, like I do, to appreciate this scene, but the one where he ends up in the "worst toilet in Scotland", then realizes he has to retrieve his suppositories, is just great!You really have to appreciate British humor to like this film. I found it much, much better than "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels."
Choose the best British film of the nineties (by rooee)
Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge's 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh's 1993 debut novel was so central to young British culture at that time that it was always in danger of being forgotten as a mere curio of a bygone Britpop era. Thankfully, good comedy leads a long life, especially the black stuff. In the meanest, wittiest way, Trainspotting said "bollocks" to Britpop - in fact, it said "bollocks" to every fad and fashion going - and so it became immortal.Welsh's novel is, like many of his works, essentially a series of short stories bound <more>
together by a group of amiable, self-centred protagonists who share a common interest in the procurement of a life-affirming experience - in this case heroin. Unfilmable as such, Boyle and Hodge do an astonishing job of wrapping up a majority of the best Edinburgh tales in a tight 90-minute narrative. The misadventures of Renton Ewan McGregor , Spud Ewen Bremner et al is alluring because their lust for life eclipses their need for skag - the physical enjoyment is never denied, and yet neither is our heroes' desire to see above and beyond the depravity and the mundanity. The film-makers are not simply allowing us to relate to these emaciated thieves - they are necessarily ensuring it.The casting is spot-on. McGregor puts in a signature performance as the amiable Mark Renton; Bremner brings the sensitive Spud hilariously to life; Robert Carlyle is unforgettable as the monstrous Francis Begbie - a man I fear we have all met and to whose jokes we have all felt obliged to laugh. Johnny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, and feature débutant Kelly Macdonald support superbly.What's the point of it all? you might ask. To say its simply about capturing a moment in British pop culture would be to deny the quality of its storytelling. Trainspotting is more than a zeitgeist because, for all its swagger and the brilliance of its soundtrack, it possesses an intricate, multi-taloned narrative navigated by 3D characters, more than one of whom finds his way to an uplifting and hopeful conclusion. Trainspotting is vital.
Why was this made? Because someone felt that there was a market for an edgy film. This is edgy, but mostly in cheap ways: scat, death, desperation, loneliness. Lots of character shots of the different dumb ones. So it delivers what it intended.Is that enough? To judge from the IMDB comments, it is also a convincing antidrug film. Is that enough? McGregor is a promising actor but even that is not enough see him in "Pillow Book" if you are looking for REAL edge .Sorry. I think this film is relatively artless, and the cinematic tricks are at the music video level.
Despite The Hype It`s Carlyle`s Film (by Theo Robertson)
TRAINSPOTTING exploded in a burst of hype in 1996 . I`m not sure if this helped the movie . It`s a good movie but no film can live upto the amount of hype this one got , compared to TRAINSPOTTING the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy was a production that went straight to video with very little fanfareThe script was Oscar nominated and deservedly so since Irvine Welsh`s cult low concept novel was deemed to be basically unfilmable , but there is a slight problem in that an all important scene where Begbie stands waiting for a train to take him away from Leith hasn`t been included . This passage from <more>
the book explains the title . What suprised me though what wasn`t included in the Oscar nominations , for example the editing where Rents hides under the bedsheets only to be met by Begbie is superb and talking of Begbie he`s without doubt one of the most evil characters ever to have appeared on the silver screen and this is down mainly to Robert Carlyle`s heart stopping performance . Ask yourself this : If another actor had played Francis Begbie would TRAINSPOTTING have been half as good ? Of course not . It`s like watching DIRTY HARRY without Andrew Robinson or GOODFELLOWS without Joe Pesci and it`s shocking that Carlyle wasn`t even nominated at the Oscars for best supporting actorAs a personal footnote I`d just like to add I was born in Leith where this story is set . I do hope that gives me some street cred
With God's help I'll conquer this terrible affliction. (by lastliberal)
The last time I remember seeing someone going through withdrawal was Frank Sinatra in The Man With the Golden Arm: "You mean just stop? Cold turkey? You don't understand! The pain..." Renton Ewan McGregor was a little more expressive: "I don't feel the sickness yet, but it's in the post. That's for sure. I'm in the junkie limbo at the moment. Too ill to sleep. Too tired to stay awake, but the sickness is on its way. Sweat, chills, nausea. Pain and craving. A need like nothing else I've ever known will soon take hold of me. It's on its way." <more>
The truth about drugs and the awful toll it take is clearly shown here. The most awful moment come after the baby dies and the mother is quick to "relieve her pain." The most disgusting moment was the toilet: an apt illustration of just what you will do for drugs. The amorality of sex with a schoolgirl is also apropos.This film is funny at times, but certainly there was no glamor. It was just some sick people with their lives going in circles.John Hodge's screenplay was magnificent. Danny Boyle's Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later... direction was super. Along with McGregor, the performances of Robert Carlyle The Full Monty, Human Trafficking and Kelly Macdonald What's her connection to Sinatra? were impressive.