Trainspotting Review

Trainspotting is a movie about a group of friends’ heroin addiction and Scotland’s Edinburgh drug scene of the early 90’s.

But the film is more than just about drug addiction. Life is full addicting stimulants; i.e. drugs like heroin and speed, food, sex, and violence especially in the case of the character Begbie who doesn’t do drugs but is like a ticking time bomb, full of violent outbursts.

Trainspotting presented more than the obvious theme of drug addiction. What interested me more is how the film treats friendship like an addiction also. Mark Renton (played by Ewan McGregor) is the main character of the movie. He introduce us to his friends, Sick Boy, Tommy, Spud, and Begbie. Most of them are junkies. When Mark wants out, he keeps coming back for “one more hit”which leads him to almost killing himself due to an overdose.

The movie, directed by famed director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) takes a pragmatic approach to present drug use, capturing the exhausting, intensely uncomfortable daily routine of a group of heroin addicts. They stay together because of a common goal and it is not an attractive sight.

Heroin is an escape for the protagonists - both from the responsibilities of life and from the restricting paths society has mapped out for them. Trainspotting does not glamorise drug abuse, but still manages to force us to look at the reasons behind it. Renton’s friends became part of the Edinburgh drug scene in the early 90s, each one of them having their own reasons for getting addicted. Tommy was depressed, Sick Boy’s addiction worsened when his child died due to neglect, Spud was pressured, Renton dissatisfied, but in general all of them did for the reasons drugs-for-fun, drugs-for-comfort, hedonism, and deliberate youthful rebellion.

Trainspotting is one of the best movies of the 1990s. It is now getting a sequel titled T2: Trainspotting which will star the same cast and director, and screenwriter. It will be released later in the year.

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