Trainspotting (A Scottish Review) * * * * *
Director: Danny Boyle.
Screenplay: John Hodge.
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Jonny Lee Miller, Kelly MacDonald, Peter Mullan, James Cosmo, Eileen Nicholas, Shirley Henderson, Pauline Lynch, Stuart McQuarrie, Keith Allen, Kevin Allen, Dale Winton, Irvine Welsh.
(As Trainspotting is one of my favourite film’s, I think it’s deserving of a review written in my native Scottish tongue. So here it is. It’s also a little experiment to see if anyone, other than a Scot, can understand what I’m actually saying)
Director Danny Boyle’s braw debut “Shallow Grave” wiz always gonnae be a hard act tae follae but tae attempt an adaptation ae the ‘unfilmable’ Scottish novel “Trainspotting” by Irvine Welsh, seemed like lunacy. Boyle, oan the other haun, captures Welsh’s book brilliantly and even though “Slumdog Millionaire” gathered him a best director Oscar, this stull remains his best film.
It follaes the lives ae a group ah freends fae Auld Reekie as they experience the up’s and doon’s ah life through scag use. Renton (Ewan McGregor) decides tae go clean and rid hissel ae his affliction and his low-life mates but finds that’s easier said than done. Spud (Ewen Bremner) is a bit ae ah dunderheid and far too needy, SickBoy (Jonny Lee Miller) is too sleekit and gallus, Tommy (Kevin McKidd) is scunnert and has just taken some bad direction and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) is always crabbit and just a plain fuckin’ nutter. It disnae matter though as Renton still decides tae enters intae makin’ a wan aff drug deal with his auld pals, so as tae make a new life for hissel aw th’gither.
Boyle’s filum has aften been criticised as glorifyin’ drug use. Glorifyin’ drug use? Really? Eejit’s who believe this must huv been watchin’ a differnt filum. The characters involved aw behave despicably. They are responsible for stouth’s, rammie’s and deith’s – includin’ the deith ae a wean; get imprisoned; contract HIV; ruin their lives and others’, aw because they’re junkies and need tae feed their habit. Whit this film has in depth, vibrancy and fun, is the reason it could be mistaken for bein’ pro-drug use but huvin’ these qualities is mair ae a testament tae the filmmakers involved, in making a bleak and depressin’ subject matter, very entertainin’. The characters urr extremely well written (kudos tae writer Welsh) and acted by an ensemble ae excellent actors. It made a star ae Ewan McGregor, who’s character, although likeable – and brilliantly played – is essentially the person responsible fur the doonfaw ae many of the other characters. Notable other performances urr Ewen Bremner as the numptie “Spud”, the maist endearin’ of the group and a character too saft fur ‘is lifestyle. The best ae the bunch though, is Boabby Carlyle as the psychotic “Begbie”, who’s choice ah drug isnae heroin but violence, and he’s just as destructive wae it. He’s a dangerous and highly volatile gadgie and Carlyle perfectly captures the oan-edge feelin’ ae his terrifyin’ unpredictability. It’s an award worthy performance that wiz sadly overlooked. Everythin’ aboot the film reeks ah class. Fae it’s rollickin’ soundtrack, tae the rich, snappy dialogue, wae great characters in hilarious situations and kinetic fast paced direction. This film huz everythin’ gon fur it and stauns as wan ae the finest films ae the 1990′s.
A relentlessly energetic experience that leaves ye cravin’ fur mair, much like the habit ae it’s protaganists.
A pure uncut, Class “A” steesher.
(If this review is indecipherable to anyone go here for the English language version)