A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
A wild, freeform, Rabelaisian trip through the darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life, focusing on Mark Renton and his attempt to give up his heroin habit, and how the latter affects his relationship with family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy, dimbulb Spud, psycho Begbie, 14-year-old girlfriend Diane, and clean-cut athlete Tommy, who's never touched drugs but can't help being curious about them...Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After Spud and Renton have emptied the shake, either a crew member or equipment is partially visible on the right edge of the frame. See more »
Mark "Rent-boy" Renton:
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck ...
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The voice-over during the end of the end credits cites the seven movies in which Sean Connery played "James Bond". See more »
The original UK special edition box set video was withdrawn from sale after only two days, after Polygram discovered that they had added more than the nine deleted scenes. In addition to the nine above scenes are:
Renton and Sick-boy setting up a rifle in the bushes of the park, whilst listening to the original avengers theme.
Renton laying on a stretcher in a hospital corridor, after a few moments someone tries to steal his blanket.
Renton's parents wheel him out of hospital.
Begbie arriving at Renton's London flat.
Begbie in Renton's flat talking about horse racing.
More of Spud's job interview.
Begbie, Spud, Sick-boy, Tommy and Renton arrive at a friend's, with the things they stole from the American tourist (red jacket, passport etc.). You then see the friend dressed in the jacket, sunglasses and cap trying to draw £500 on the American's credit card.
Sick-boy, Renton, Spud and Tommy on the train on their way to the countryside.
Renton dancing with his mother to culture club, at the club his parents go to.
Begbie, Sick-boy and Spud looting someone's house. Sick-boy is wearing the skull mask from the cover of the book.
Renton and Spud steal a TV from an old people's home. This is not edited together, but presented in 4 different takes, from three different camera angles.
Renton visits Swanney in hospital. Again this is not edited together, but presented in 11 different takes, from 5 different angles.
The deleted scene at the bus station begins with Renton giving a beggar some change; after Renton has moved on the beggar looks up and we see it is Swanney.
A Final Hit
Performed by Leftfield
Written by Neil Barnes (as Barnes) / Paul Daley (as Daley)
Published by Hard (UK) Hands Publishing Ltd/Chrysalis Music Ltd
Courtesy of Hard Hands/Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd See more »
Renton is a heroin addict. He is one of a group of friends who live their lives day to day and hit to hit. When he tries to kick the habit he manages it for a while but eventually falls back into his old way. Meanwhile his friends are as messed up as he is, whether it be Spud's pathetic addiction, Begbie's violent rages or the fact that he is sleeping with a girl who still goes to school.
When it came out this film was very hyped, the poster became a must-have on every student's bedroom wall and the media went nuts over it's supposed glamorisation of drug use. The plot is very difficult to summarise, as it doesn't really have a narrative flow other than the very disjointed experience of Renton. However it manages to be very funny and imaginative all the way, using many different tricks and touches to be funny. The dialogue is very well written and I must admit I found it a lot funnier than the last few comedies I watched.
The media may have condemned this film as promoting drug use, but I can only imagine that they watched a different film from me. Sure, the film shows drugs as being fun and enjoyable but, like Renton says, `why else would we do it?' However the film clearly shows a massive downside where people's lives are destroyed, people OD and lives go day to day just trying to get high. True, it does show this downside in a stylish and funny way but there is no question that the film is promoting drug use in any sense.
Too often I see films that are style over substance; Trainspotting gets it just perfect, stylish but not at the expense of dialogue, character or film. It is helped by a great cast. McGregor jumped to stardom off the back of this role and he deserved it. He keeps his character both likeable but repulsive at the same time and carries the film with surprising ease. The support cast is excellent, even if they lack the same good character of Renton. Whether it is the comic Bremner, the violent Carlyle or the tragic McKidd. While not all their characters are well developed, they do all give good accounts of themselves, whether it is comic or showing the effects of heroin on their lives.
Overall this is a great film that is refreshing to see now without all the `cult student cool' hype or media feeding frenzy over it's supposed pro-drug approach. It is stylish, funny, depressing and downright sobering.
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