Trainspotting (1996)

4,5/5

UK; Danny Boyle

Mature Audiences – Pervasive Hard Drug Use; Strong Language; Graphic Sexuality; Brief Bloody Violence

 

Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) has chosen not to choose life. Instead, he chose heroin. Why? For the sweet, fleeting pleasure of forgetting? Forget what? He can’t remember; being alive, most likely. Wasting his youth in a state of constant near-coma, with occasional surges of lucidity, the 25-year-old teams with a bunch of equally lost, pitiable characters: Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), a fair-haired angel hiding his psychoses behind an intellectual, witty façade and smart suits; Spud (Ewen Bremner) a foolish but good-hearted loser; Begby, a violent, psychotic thug who brags he doesn’t do drugs but could kill a man for an insult. And there is of course Tommy, sane, fit and trying to sort things out. Then he is jilted by his girlfriend and plunges into addiction with the dark energy of someone who has nothing to lose. When Renton eventually decides to go clean, he realizes he’s as much addicted to a substance as to a lifestyle. 

Trainspotting is, ironically, a film about pleasure, or at least about how much suffering one is ready to endure for a split-second of sensorial ecstasy. It is also one of the most harrowing and astute exploration of addiction in recent memory, taking the viewer to very dark places but remaining relentlessly, compulsively watchable. Boasting a demonic, delirious energy and an unerring dark wit, this is definitively one of the 90s most intoxicating, numbing cinematic highs. 

Few of Trainspotting successors matched the jolt of surprise and horror this seminal black comedy prompted. Trainspotting is still a paradox and an enigma, almost fifteen years after its release. In a way, it is virtually a cinematic miracle. Its bitter, yet rich humor only heightens the tragic dimension of the story, letting the inescapability of the situation permeate insidiously and gradually the audience, tightening its grip even during the brief, illusory release of a heartfelt bellylaugh. It has the potency to rise to its considerable contradictions, and deliver a dizzying, daunting and painfully lucid portrait of a lost generation.  

Trainspotting is not flawless, but its hallucinogenic intensity and ferocious energy make for one of cinema’s most haunting, frantic experiences.  Even in the film medium, miracles are a rarity. 

 

Trainspotting 27024 hd wallpapers

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