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Review #115: Trainspotting

Mark Renton is a heroin addict, so are most of his friends.
He has a loving family, but the circles he hangs around in just get him into more and more trouble.
After a particularly bad dose of heroin, Renton has small dreams of getting off the drugs and making a clean break.
Seeing an opportunity for a new start, Renton makes his plans... and hopes to God it works out... so he can Choose Life.

But his dark past and his 'friends' are bound to follow him, whether he still wants them as 'friends', or not.

One of the most famous British movies of all time and also one of the most successful, made legends out of the lead cast.
The screenplay, dialogue and plot are hard to watch at times ue to the way the filmmakers show the harsh sides of life, and the film borders on surreal from time to time too.
What Danny Boyle (Directing), Irvine Welsh (Writing) and John Hodge (Producing) have built though, is an incredibly realistic, funny, heartwarming, inspiring... yet disturbing and heartbreaking story of modern youth (well, youth of the mid 1990s).

The film is all about the characters and the story and the concequences involved in the subject matters... rather than just being all out drug taking and swearing.
Trainspotting cleverly builds up the character association to the audience using humour and real life situations and human behaviour, then gives you a big slap across the face with the realism of the events that unfold on-screen.
It can get uncomfortable to watch... but emotionally rather than just gross out.

The actors involved made their careers with the movie and are all at the top of their game.
Ewan McGregor as Renton is extremely natural in the role. His cheeky persona really shines through and the scenes involving some of the nastier subject matters are an acting triumph.
Ewen Bremner stars as 'Spud' Murphy, Renton's best friend. More of a comic relief character but Bremner's natural nerdiness almost steals the show. Especially when he's been up to no good.
Backing them up are Jonny Lee Miller as 'Sick Boy', Kelly Macdonald as Renton's 'girlfriend' called Diane and the brilliant Kevin McKidd as Tommy.

Robert Carlyle as psychopath Francis 'Franco' Begbie steals the show though. He's by far one of the most memorable characters in any movie, let alone Trainspotting. He goes from a funny Jack-The-Lad character to something incredibly unstable within a heartbeat. He makes a seriously lasting impression on the viewer.

All in all, the low budget filmmaking, cast of genuine characters and genius actors and a screenplay that rivals any big budget flick make the movie a must see, even for those who aren't fans of gritty and disturbing subject matters.
Trainspotting went down in history at time of release, a lot of it was down to controversy but, quite rightly, it has stayed in the history books for over 15 years, simply due to being a very well made movie.
My rating 98%