Watching Trainspotting

In Researching for the Media, we had a screening of Trainspotting, Danny Boyle’s 1996 release. It features a great cast: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald and Kevin McKidd.


The plot is as follows:

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, dim-bulb 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.

The characters, as alluded to above, are: 

Mark Renton – main protagonist

Sick Boy – obsessed with Sean Connery (Jonny Lee Miller)

Spud – the dim one (Ewen Bremner)

Begbie – psychiatrically disturbed (Robert Carlyle)

Diane – The teenage girlfriend (Kelly Macdonald)

Tommy – the clean one but curious (Kevin McKidd)

The film

  • Reviews were mixed.
  • The films success is credited to the casting.
  • Very controversial: detailed scenes of drug use, both sides of drug debate presented, use of swearing and sex scenes plus a disturbing death scene.

My thoughts:

I thought that I was going to hate the film as it’s not like the films I usually watch, plus the idea of spending over an hour and a half watching something about drugs wasn’t  inspiring. The film wasn’t too bad and I did enjoy it. A large part of this was because of the filming; it is a clever film cinematically. Overall, I’m glad I finally watched it, but its not a film I’ll be going back to on purpose.

Some notes from my year two semester two lectures and seminars. The image is from:

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