Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Trainspotting (1996)


“Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?”
            I remember when I worked at Best Buy years ago seeing Trainspotting on DVD. I guess when I was working there it had just come out on DVD. I remember the cover because it was just weird. I was like what is up with that girl and, really is that Ewan McGregor? I realized not that long ago that the girl on the cover is Kelly Macdonald and I adore her so I figured why not give it a try for her as well as the fact that I like all kinds of movies now. I had no idea what Trainspotting was about until I started watching it and… wow.
            Renton (McGregor) and his friends Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller) and Spud are heroin addicts. Renton decides to kick his habit but then falls right back into it and so does Sick Boy who also tried to quit. They all go to this shabby place and hit up for, what to them, feels like hours. Renton winds up overdosing one time. His parents lock him in his room to let the drugs work out of his system.
            Renton decides to move to London to get away from Scotland and the drug scene he knows. He gets a job and is happy for a while until Sick Boy and a guy named Begbie come around and stay with him. One of their friends back in Scotland dies from drugs. Once again home, Renton falls back into his old habits. With Begbie, Sick Boy, and Spud they plan to sell a suitcase full of heroin. Renton decides to walk away completely from everyone and takes the money they had with him.
            So not a great recap of the plot but after a while I stopped fully paying attention.
            The cast was pretty good. Ewan McGregor I am not too much of a fan of, he was alright. This was Kelly Macdonald’s first film she made. She was great. Her character is a bit nuts. She is supposed to be fourteen years old (Macdonald was nineteen when she got the part) and gets Renton to sleep with her and then she blackmails him into keeping in touch with her. I had no idea Johnny Lee Miller was really British before I looked him up for this movie. Apparently he has played a lot of parts where he has had to be Scottish. Kevin McKidd is in the film for a bit. I could not believe how different he looked. I am used to seeing him on Grey’s Anatomy where he is a former soldier and has short cut hair. He was good it was nice to see his range.

            Trainspotting was a very different kind of movie for me. I liked that it was fast paced right from the beginning. You felt like you were genuinely in someone’s manic head. The directing by Danny Boyle was very anti-establishment. The story and the direction and the characters were dirty and disgusting. It was real and unsettling there was no bullshitting with anything in this movie. So much of what happens you (or maybe it was just me) do not see coming. It was genius with how it was pro-drug use or anit-drugs it was just about people who were on drugs there was no judgment. I like when a movie can keep me on my toes and offer something different than what everyone else makes. Trainspotting definitely stands out as one of the most creative and unsettling movies I have seen.