Netflix Movie Month: "Trainspotting" Review

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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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Rating: R
Length: 94 minutes
Release Date: July 19, 1996
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Genre: Dramatic Comedy / Crime

"Trainspotting" follows Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), a young man living in the slums of Edinburgh. Renton surrounds himself with friends that have as little ambition as he does, and that share a love for heroin. Renton and his buddies, Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller) and Spud (Ewen Bremner) spend their days looking for ways to finance their drug habit. The film displays the efforts and trials Renton encounters as he tries desperately to kick the nasty heroin addiction.

Danny Boyle directs the dramatic film "Trainspotting" with a unique look into drug addiction and the trials that the addict faces trying to finance their habit, gain acceptance into normal society, get clean and stay clean. Once Renton decides to kick his nasty habit, he quickly realizes that the company he keeps is a large part of why he is unable to get clean.

The quirky but lovable characters portray a growing trend in the Edinburgh community. Mugging tourists, overdosing on drugs and various encounters with the law seem to have no effect on Sick Boy and Spud, but Renton begins to tire of the lifestyle.

McGregor portrays Renton with perfection, allowing viewers to grasp the lovable traits of the character in spite of the sadistic actions he performs. The film, based on the novel written by Irvine Welsh, depicts an unforgettable crew of misfits. Tommy (Kevin McKidd) lapses into the drug world as one of the films more solid plots. Begbie is played by Robert Carlyle, and his portrayal of this dangerous alcoholic who desperately hates heroin junkies helps display the limits of Renton's world.

Renton tries desperately to kick the heroin addiction throughout the film with little to no success. After he dives into one of the nastiest toilets in Edinburgh to retrieve drug suppositories, deals with AIDS, misunderstood sexuality between friends and the crib death of a friend's baby, he locks himself in a room to dry out. His many failed attempts to get clean and stay clean lead him to the conclusion that he has to move away from the beloved junkies he spends his time with.

Renton packs up and moves to London with the hope of getting the drugs out of his system and his life once and for all. With a new environment, a fresh start and the ill-intending so-called friends out of the picture, he begins to feel there is hope after all.

One thing the film does an amazing job at portraying is the impact that environment can have on keeping someone down. The junkies that surround Renton seem to enjoy keeping him down, so much that they follow him to London with a promise of a large score and lead him back into the life of crime, drugs, danger and sexually deviancy that he struggles so hard to leave behind.

The film is a mild version of the novel, but still offers more than some viewers were prepared to see. The characters all provide their own unique traits that allow viewers to both love and hate them. The scattered and random antics that are displayed onscreen have viewers busting out belly laughs as quickly as they have them screaming and gasping in horror.

Do not let the unleashed audacity of the film deter you from realizing the sheer genius that went into its creation. This entertainment masterpiece pulls you directly into the world of drugs, sex, depravity and debauchery. You are given a front row seat to the dark depths of a junkie's soul, where once seen, it is impossible to return.

"Trainspotting", directed by Danny Boyle, written by John Hodge and based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, is captivating and a pure work of genius. The cast, Ewan McGregor (Renton), Johnny Lee Miller (Sick Boy), Ewen Bremner (Spud), Kelly Macdonald (Diane), Shirley Henderson (Gail), Robert Carlyle (Begbie) and Kevin McKidd (Tommy) do a fantastic job of portraying the off-the-wall characters in this drug soaked comedic drama. The movie is rated R and contains profanity, full-frontal nudity, extreme drug use and graphic violence.

Viewers are taken on a trip of a lifetime through the slums of Edinburgh with deranged characters leading the way. Experience joy, sorrow, understanding, acceptance, hatred and distress as the film follows Renton through the trials of his life as a junkie and his struggles to survive. Fall in love with some of the most unlovable characters onscreen with riveting performances that you will never forget.

"Trainspotting" is a work of art with a disturbingly accurate portrayal of drug abuse.

Rating: 4 out of 5