Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TRAINSPOTTING (Danny Boyle, 1996, UK) “Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. 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?” So speaks Renton, our humble narrator and drug addict with whom we experience the dirty, miserable, unglamorous lifestyle of the junkie and his friends. Danny Boyle’s first film is his best with this realistic portrayal of young men & women who choose to throw their life away…but the irony is that when you’re addicted there is no choice at all: the only choice is to score and the destructive cycle continues until death or incarceration. Our protagonist Renton (still Ewan McGregor’s best performance!) is our empathetic link to this lifestyle; we may judge the act separate from the person because Renton is a likeable guy who just needs to get his shite together. He even has a loving mum and dad and brains enough to get straight. But the addiction’s tendrils sink deep into the vein. TRAINSPOTTING doesn’t glamorize heroine…quite the contrary. It depicts the despicable depths of depravity and desolation that lead to a slow torturous Death. This fact is reflected in Tommy who is straight and seemingly in good health until he tries heroine…once. And then his life is on a sure path to destruction and disease. Boyle’s surreal and fantastic imagery is coupled with intimate cinematography that gets the viewer up-close and personal with the characters. The soundtrack is also killer. If you’re going to make one important choice today…choose this film. (A)

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