We at BMAF hope to fit in a visit to see ‘T2:Trainspotting‘ this week, the sequel to a film we first saw 21 years ages. With these plans, we dug out our DVD copy to give the original Trainspotting a watch to revisit the story so far.
Trainspotting, based on the book by Irvine Welsh was brought to screen by the team that also made the excellent Shallow Grave, from writer John Hodge and director Danny Boyle.
Also from Shallow Grave was Ewan McGregor, who was cast as the film’s lead Mark Renton and his struggle to give up drugs and better his life.
We follow him and his friends, which are established in the opening scenes for them being in a 5 a side football team.
They are Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) a fellow addict; Spud (Ewen Bremner) also an addict; Tommy (Kevin McKidd) a keen athlete and in a steady relationship and not a drug user; The Group is rounded off by Begbie (Robert Carlyle) a violent psychopath, who will start a fight with anyone.
The film is a triumph and was declared by Empire magazine as the best British film of the decade for which it is worthy of.
The film goes from hilarious to harrowing, showing the highs and lows of drug use as it were, but as the low involves death, pain to loved ones and a journey into the worst toilet in Scotland at no point does it glamorise their use.
The characters are all played brilliantly, Ewen as Spud, the slightly slow-witted but nice guy brings a lot of the laughs, at a job interview whilst under the influence is one of his more memorable moments.
Jonny plays Sick Boy, to the point that you do believe him as a con man. Yet he is also heavily involved in one of the film’s more harrowing scenes involving the death of a baby.
Robert as Begbie at the time was a shock, best known as loveable Hamish Macbeth from TV, he never fails to shock in any of his scenes, that you do hope he gets his comeuppance. Hard to believe, he was then cast as loveable Gaz in The Full Monty for his next film outing.
The cast really are all excellent, from Keith Allen and Peter Mullan as drug dealers at different ends of the scale to Kelly MacDonald in her first role as Diane, a love interest for Mark.
The film is aided by a brilliant soundtrack which captures the love of BritPop at the time.
This really is one of the best British films of all time. Mark certainly shows the benefits of not being an addict and he seems to be possibly the more intelligent out of his friends, with the desire to want to improve his situation.
Yet he is no hero, he is the main reason for the change in Tommy’s life for example.
The film has a grand finale which sees an improved lifestyle for Mark having left Edinburgh for London, only to take a step back when Begbie on the run from the law turns up at his door, but a deal that will earn the 2, as well as Spud and Sick boy a great deal of money could be about to change all their fortunes for good.
This really is an outstanding film, which is why there is so much anticipation and concern that its sequel may not deliver, but with a returning cast, scriptwriter and director we have high hopes.
You can find the original film at Amazon here:
You can watch the trailer here:
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