Trainspotting (1996-02-23)

Drama | Crime |

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  • Status: Released
  • Runtime: 94m
  • Popularity: 22.819
  • Language: en
  • Budget: $4,000,000
  • Revenue: $16,491,080
  • Vote Average: 7.968
  • Vote Count: 9002

  • CinemaSerf

    25 years on, and this Danny Boyle effort has lost little of it's authentic, gritty, potency. Set in mid 1990s Edinburgh it follows the antics of a disparate group of friends whose only goals in life are to survive, maybe get laid, and to take each day as it comes... "Begbie" (Robert Carlyle) is their psychopathically charged leader, who thinks nothing of smashing a glass in someone's face; "Spud" (Ewan Bremner) and "Sick Boy" (Jonny Lee Miller) just lurch from one day to the next looking for a fix; "Tommy" (Kevin McKidd) at least tries to live with some semblance of normality - he has a steady girlfriend "Diana" (Kelly Macdonald) and finally Ewan McGregor ("Renton"), whom along with his worldly, and in their way loving, parents, might just see a way of escaping from this relentless misery... What helps this stand out is the fact that director Boyle misses few opportunities to depict the grim depravity in which these people live. Its graphic, violent, distressing certainly, but it is also funny and eminently human - there is a definite sense of "there but for the grace of God" about many of the scenarios and they tugs at the heart strings whilst simultaneously making you cower and wince in disgust or sometimes even fear. The efforts from the talent in indistinguishably good - especially Bremner and JLM whose roles are not so significant as Messrs Carlyle & McGregor's, but who add a depth and richness to what could otherwise just prove to be a rather downbeat tale of hopelessness and emptiness. For once, the gratuitous (for, that it is) use of good old Anglo-Saxon expletives doesn't not appear merely to compensate for a lack of script-writing skills; here the language and violence add significantly to the plausibility of the whole thing - it's ghastly, yet compelling to watch and watch again. It works well again on a big screen, even though the cinematography doesn't really require anything to present scale or grandness, and the soundtrack adds a deliciously contemporaneous dollop of nostalgia, too. Not for the fainthearted, but - in my view - the finest work from all concerned that stands the test of time very well.