Trainspotting is a classic, if not The Godfather, of drug-depiction cinema. Based on a book by Irvin Welsh, the film peeks into the lives of a group of British heroin addicts. It features an ensemble cast of wacky characters, the main character, Renton, played by a young Ewan McGregor, and the side-men, Spud, played by Ewen Bremner, and Jonny Lee Miller as sick boy. Their isn’t much of a plot: we are simply gazing at the behavioral modes of three British drug addicts, and that plot is much different than most peoples “ordinary” lives, which Renton denounces and is clinically afraid of, in a literal sense. From start to finish, however, their is always thoughts of getting clean, and that train does eventually approach for Renton.
They have a method of trying to get clean. Lock the doors. Can’t get out. Then, you get to leave like you just walked out of a billionaire dollar signing. Unless your friends cant handle your screaming. “Get me out!” And they cave, and you cave, and it all tumbles: This second-person wording is done throughout in Renton’s voice over, as he tries to explain the troubles of an addict in his British accent.
Then their is Robert Carlyle incredible performance as Begbie, a snide and insulting forty-or-something who hangs around the bars with Renton and friends, chucking beers and swearing his head off. With Begbie, you feel like his energy with his own age crew has worn dry and he hangs around with Renton’s friends to seem like hot-stuff. He’s skinny and probably couldn’t beat up any of the early-twenties, but he acts like he could.
Renton comes to realize, through listening to Sick Boy’s same old theories and injecting the same poison, that he lives not unlike the ordinary man. Monotonous and tiring, the wild life soon dies on him. When Begbie takes him to bar, he sits patting his thighs, awkward and too drug-occupied to know how to attract a girl. Danny Boyle expresses these characters lives and attitudes with great honesty and fervor, creating creepy hallucinatory scenes and dramatic down-pourings. Though ultimately it is a devastating film, it also has the quick speed of a hip and entertaining film: but don’t get the wrong idea, Renton went clean.