THE PLOT THUS FAR
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.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Danny Boyle’s explosive 1996 film tracks the misadventures of young men (played by a cast that includes Ewan MacGregor, Robert Carlyle and Jon Lee Miller) trying to find their way out of joblessness, aimless relationships and drug addiction. Some are successful, while others are hopelessly not. Based on Irvine Walsh’s novel, Trainspotting melds grit with poetry, resulting in a film of harsh truths and stunning grace.
When it came out this film was very hyped, the poster became a must-have on every student’s bedroom wall and the media went nuts over it’s supposed glamorisation of drug use. The plot is very difficult to summarise, as it doesn’t really have a narrative flow other than the very disjointed experience of Renton. However it manages to be very funny and imaginative all the way, using many different tricks and touches to be funny. The dialogue is very well written and I must admit I found it a lot funnier than the last few comedies I watched.
The media may have condemned this film as promoting drug use, but I can only imagine that they watched a different film from me. Sure, the film shows drugs as being fun and enjoyable but, like Renton says, `why else would we do it?’ However the film clearly shows a massive downside where people’s lives are destroyed, people OD and lives go day to day just trying to get high. True, it does show this downside in a stylish and funny way but there is no question that the film is promoting drug use in any sense.
Too often I see films that are style over substance; Trainspotting gets it just perfect, stylish but not at the expense of dialogue, character or film. It is helped by a great cast. McGregor jumped to stardom off the back of this role and he deserved it. He keeps his character both likeable but repulsive at the same time and carries the film with surprising ease. The support cast is excellent, even if they lack the same good character of Renton. Whether it is the comic Bremner, the violent Carlyle or the tragic McKidd.
The Blu-Ray comes with a digital copy and a half-ton of special features. You get a ton of featurettes, deleted scenes and the related bonus materials from the Collector’s Edition DVD. Plus, you get the Lust for Life music video, but it’s not boosted up to HD. The 1080p transfer and the DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track are such an amazing clean-up from the DVD. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 09/13/2011