Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Watched Trainspotting last night on IFC, from midnight to 1:30 (don't ask). Watching it again, it's kind of hard to believe that there was ever any controversy about this movie "glorifying" heroin use (was there a controversy? I seem to recall one, anyway). The movie doesn't glorify anything (friendship, sex, parenthood, armed robbery, drugs, work, love, the judicial system, psychopathic behavior ... anything).

Several scenes still have an overwhelming power to chill -- even when you know they're coming (e.g., the crib scene in the shooting gallery, Tommy's quick descent into disease, destruction and death after his first heroin use).

Apart from the difficulty of understanding big chunks of the dialogue through the brogues, the acting is uniformly excellent in the service of almost uniformly reprehensible characters. Ewan McGregor has gone on to galactic stardom, Robert Carlyle grasps the over-the-top psychopathic role of Begbie by the throat and doesn't let go, but it is Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy that is the most charismatic and memorable.

Watching it again nine years later does seem to beg a new question, though. Sick Boy and Darko: separated at birth?


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