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Adrenaline, sex, and drugs are the few words to describe this dark yet intriguing film. Trainspotting follows the life of a heroin addict Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) and the lifestyle that he is surrounded with by being an addict. Renton is joined by his group of useless mates as we follow there life choices and priorities of being addicts. Sickboy (Johnny Lee Miller) is one of Renton’s closest mates but abuses his kindness, Spud (Ewen Bremner) is the groups hopeless but caring friend, Tommy (Kevin Mckidd) who’s a good friend but ends up living the of and addict from the people he surrounded himself with, and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) who is not a heroin addict but who an aggressive alcoholic. It also introduces Rentons lover Diane (Kelly Macdonald) who he meets at a nightclub and goes home with, soon to find out she is underage.

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The film follows these characters and how they rummage for money for there heroin abuse, this is done by petty crimes that usually involve theft. They all locate to an abandoned crack house where they shoot up and pass there time on being high on drugs. As this film may be seen as glorifying drug use as the scenes of the characters taking drugs look enjoyable and like they are on top of the world, it is soon followed by the dark underlay of the comedown and the mistakes made from abusing the substance.

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Trainspotting was funded by the British studio Channel Four Films as this was a studio that funded independent films. The location for the film is set in the Scotland as this location complimented the films emptiness and bleakness. The intended audience for this film would be for anyone who is curious about how people live different lifestyles, but should know a lot about UK culture as its main focus is on the UK demographic as the dialogue and setting is highly influenced by UK culture. But, as it could of been seen that it’s intended audience was local, the film traveled internationally and was a big success! Winning multiple awards including best screenplay at the BAFTA Awards.

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When it comes to films and the film industry, they’re are major differences when it comes to production. This is demonstrated in the North and South divide. “The rich North” is the more financially economic countries like United States, Australia and Canada. Where as the South is considered third world countries like Asia, Africa, South America. When it comes to the United Kingdom, they are on the north side as they are apart of the G8 Countries. Being apart of the north means they’re more financial opportunities for films as there countries are more developed, this funding allows films like Trainspotting to be made and to be as successful as it was because of the production opportunities, even being it was an independent film. I don’t think this film would be as successful if it was made in another country because it really captured the dark side of British culture instead of soap operas as explained in this article. This is further proven in a Film Review from Stanley Kauffmann explains that this film is such an original concept as he states ” A new voyeurism has arisen in the last two decades or so, and Trainspotting caters to it—an addiction to addiction-watching” (Kauffmann 1996).

Kauffmann, S. (1996) “Scotland now, English then” [Online] available at [Accessed 2/9/19]


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