Trainspotting (R) 1995
Reviewer’s Tilt (10)
Special DVD Features worth a look-None
Based upon the much more graphic (believe it or not) cult novel by Irvine Welsh, Director Danny Boyle takes you underneath the underbelly of the Scottish heroin scene. This graphic film is neither a PBS documentary about the horrors of drugs, nor a party flick about the joys of disorientation. Instead, is a riveting analysis of why addicts stay addicts. Addicts say it is for the drugs, but this film delves into a much deeper addiction—the connection addicts share with one another. It is addiction’s insidious nature to prey on society’s weak. Although addicts may be stockbrokers and accountants, it is more often the poor and the abused that take refuge under its wing.
Trainspotting drives home the point that the underprivileged not only seek the “high,” but also that brief period of time when the ugliness of their lives melt away. Unfortunately, when they shake off the fog, they are worse than they started. This film’s crisp and taught script shows us that addictions cruelest blow the disturbing codependency it demands of other addicts. The very talented cast of Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd and Robert Carlyle play close-knit addicts sharing their lives, while maintaining the awareness that any one of them will betray the other for a single fix. They have the same wants, the same needs, the same dysfunctions, and the same understanding of why they do the inexplicable things they do.
You would never convince a non-addict to dive into “The worst toilet in Scotland” to recover a single suppository. Other addicts, however, understand and actually covet accounts of such behavior as vindication of their own wrongdoings. The only thing that would make this film better would be the provision of English subtitles throughout to catch every witty word. On the surface, this film is very drool and entertaining. As with most fine films, however, its beauty lays in the deeper connection it seeks with our consciousness—not judging right and wrong, but telling us why others are as they are.
Format: Color, Widescreen anamorphic, Closed captioned.
Sound: (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (2.0 Surround)
Extras: New versions of this DVD have no extras. Older versions have a second playable side and extra features including outtakes, interviews, and "Railway Sounds."