Film Scouts Reviews


by Benjamin Ibrahim

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The Scots who brought us "Shallow Grave" are back with a new film that's quickly becoming all
the rage in Europe and the U.S. "Trainspotting" is a surprisingly light-hearted, unsentimental
look at life and death on heroin in Edinburgh, Scotland. A never-ending series of follies and
failures drive (or don't drive) the life of Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his so-called
friends as they lie, cheat, and steal their way into states of drugged oblivion. Trying
occasionally to quit their addictions to heroin, the film's heros/antiheros deftly avoid the
nomer "pathetic" by being hip, witty, and extremely good-looking. More mainstream, and less
haunting than "Shallow Grave", "Trainspotting" is strangely light-hearted and funny in light of
its subject matter. "It's a wee bit Hollywood," said Irvine Welsh of the film, after seeing his
debut novel translated to the big screen. Welsh's novel by the same title is more disturbing
than the film, but does have a certain light-hearted humor to it that the filmmakers captured
successfully. Ewan Bremner's performance as the sheet-staining Spud is hilarious. The film's
score involves a little too much techno-music, but the dialogue is great once you get the hang
of the Scottish accent.

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