Trainspotting (1996)

R   |    |  Drama


Trainspotting (1996) Poster

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

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8.2/10
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  • Robert Carlyle and Jonny Lee Miller in Trainspotting (1996)
  • Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting (1996)
  • Danny Boyle in Trainspotting (1996)
  • Kelly Macdonald in Trainspotting (1996)
  • Robert Carlyle in Trainspotting (1996)
  • Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting (1996)

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Reviews & Commentary

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6 March 2003 | Sean-M
Superb
An extremely competent look at the Scottish drug-Scene, Trainspotting is a perfect example of the potential of the UK industry to tell a story of tragedy, horror and hope in a manner that the American industry has yet to do without drifting into tired Cliche. While the manner and style of delivery are extremely funny and at times appear almost unreal, the fact remains that these characters are real. The clearly psychotic and alcoholic Begbie, played by Robert Carlyle is a supporting role that is actually of immense value to the film. Here we have character who I've met, you've met and we've all met. A man with very little to lose absorbed in a sea of alcohol and prone to violence. I choose him as example because he isnt even involved in the drug-scene in which the main characters are central. In fact his opposition is somewhat humorous when we consider his own vices make him argueably worse off and the incidences of violence he becomes involved in

are most definitely black humour. Considering what is actually happening isnt funny, watching it play out, aside from one major incident, is extremely funny. And that is the tone of the film throughout, as characters continually talk nonsence and sail through the lives they have chosen, making very little progress, but instead drifting downwards until an opportunity presents itself to change their ways, where upon Renton, Ewan McGregor, must make a choice between his own life or his friends. McGregor himself is excellent in the film that made him, as is Jonny Lee Miller, who surprised me in this film by having a more thought-provoking character than the script and time strictly allowed considering his relatively minimal place in the main storyline. Ewen Bremner provided some excellent and often well-needed comic relief and Carlyle as I mentioned, was outstanding. This film is both real and unreal, taking the Humour of "Human Traffic" and the somber tone of "My name is Joe" and blending them together to create an unforgettable experience vividly accompanied by strains of "Perfect day" and other cultural and nostalgic sounds, particularly of the place and period. Trainspotting has been accused of glamourising drug-use but I firmly believe anyone who takes this view hasnt watched it properly. The fun is equally, if not more so, matched by some nasty images and for the time it was released, provided what was a very necessary look at the growing drug industry, the loss it creates and the hope that can arise. Superb.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Carlyle and Ewan McGregor also appear in Being Human (1994) and T2 Trainspotting (2017).


Quotes

Mark "Rent-boy" Renton: Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed ...


Goofs

When Diane meets Spud lying comatose on the street, a bus passes by in the background. The bus is orange, which is the colour of Glasgow City buses, but the movie is set in Edinburgh where the buses are maroon and cream.


Crazy Credits

The voice-over during the end of the end credits cites the seven movies in which Sean Connery played "James Bond".


Alternate Versions

Differences between the original cut of the film and its North American release include:

  • Many scenes and voice-overs re-dubbed throughout the entire film, sometimes with altered words: bird/girl, ken/know, skag/smack, post/mail
  • Added titles: "The worst toilet in Scotland", "The first day of the Edinburgh Festival", subtitles during Spud and Tommy's bar conversation
  • Removed: a shot at the end of Renton and Diane's sex scene (blacked out) and a shot of the needle entering Mark's arm before he overdoses (replaced with a repeated facial close-up)


Soundtracks

Nightclubbing
Performed by
Iggy Pop
Words and Music by Iggy Pop / David Bowie
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd/EMI Virgin Music Ltd/Tintoretto Music
Administered by RZO Music
Courtesy of Virgin Records America Inc

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