United Kingdom, 1995
R (Profanity, Violence, Drugs, Sexual Situations, Nudity)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio:
Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly MacDonald, Peter Mullan
John Hodge based on the novel by Irvine Welsh
Next to Independence Day, Trainspotting may be the most hyped motion picture of the summer. Miramax Films, the distributor that saturated the market with ads for The Crying Game in 1992- 93 and Pulp Fiction in '94, has struck again. Trainspotting, which is based on Irvine Welsh's cult novel and is directed by Shallow Grave helmsman Danny Boyle, became a smash hit in the UK during its run there. Miramax, hoping for a similar reaction on this side of the Atlantic, has been shouting from the rooftops, using big, splashy print ads and chaotic TV and theatrical spots to lure in their target audience. The danger is, of course, that Trainspotting's substance will get drowned by the marketing.
"I chose not to choose life. I chose to choose something else," says the film's narrator and main character, a twenty-something Edinburgh man named Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), near the outset of Trainspotting. In rejecting the yuppie culture of a nuclear family, material possessions, a paying job, and dental insurance, Renton is rebelling, but this isn't just the usual disaffection of youth -- it's a deeper, more pervasive dissatisfaction with a culture he views as sick and stifling.
Renton's escape is through drugs -- primarily heroin, but really anything he can get his hands on. He's surrounded by his "buddies", a group of crooks, liars, and psychos who are even more twisted than he is. There's Spud (Ewan Bremner), a shy, inoffensive junkie; Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), a...