Tuesday 28 May 2013

Review: Trainspotting

World of Blackout Film Review

Please stand behind the yellow line. This review is not scheduled to stop here.

Cert: 18 / 95 mins / Dir. Danny Boyle

So I received an e-mail the other week, from the lovely people at Vue, informing me of a special screening they were holding of a new film called 'Trainspotting'. I have to say that the quirky poster they attached was quite different from the staid, sober mood the title would suggest. With that, I was intrigued, and decided to pop along for a look.

Well, firstly, I should point out that this must have been a very exclusive screening, as Vue showed the film in the bijou Screen 10, and only eleven people had been invited to attend! There was an absolute minimum of fuss, and I wasn't asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I'm guessing Channel 4 Films are hoping that influential bloggers and social-networking types will spread word of mouth, ahead of general release. Obviously, I'll be only too happy to oblige.

Secondly, as it transpired, the film isn't about trainspotting at all (although I did catch a train to the cinema to see this, and there were some trainspotters on the platform. Viral marketing performance art?), but is actually about some Scotch heroin addicts! I did see two trains in the film, but the characters seemed to make no attempt to record either their model nor registration numbers. I'll assume they have those down in their books already. Although with all that skag coursing through their veins, who knows what their handwriting looks like?!?

The story follows Ewan McGregor's 'Mark' and his pasty chums as they get into an escalating series of scrapes around money, women and you've guessed it... heroin! I've seen Ewan before in a Star Wars film, but don't worry - his Scotch accent is almost impeccable. He is quite convincing. A rather nice touch, I thought, is that this is a period piece, set in the 1990's, and the fashion, music and branches of John Menzies add a layer of realism that really draws you in.

Although bleak at times (don't worry, the baby comes back later!), 'Trainspotting' is a real Boy's-Own romp that will keep audiences entertained and adrenalised from start to finish. Mark my words, publicity may be low-key now, but this is a cult-hit waiting to happen, and by the end of the summer I suspect you'll be hard pressed to find any serious film fan who hasn't at least heard of it.

Warning: features Keith Allen, albeit briefly, and two scenes of people with poo on their hands. I'll let you decide which is worse.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
It makes the film look like a lot more fun than it often is, but yes.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Yes. Which is to say it's more cohesive than the book.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Well, if you get the chance to revisit this at the cinema, it's well worth it, but the DVD/BRD should see you right.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
If / when the gang get back together to make a sequel, would you want it to incorporate (if not neccessarily follow) Welsh's sequel book, Porno?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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