This was one movie I always wanted to catch, and it was only a few days ago that I found a VCD. The story is based on the book by Irvine Welsh and stays suprisingly true to it. This 1996 film (starring Ewan Mcgregor and Robert Carlyle) is directed by Danny Boyle who did a fabulous job with 'Shallow Grave'(1994).
The plot revolves around the lives of a group of friends, each unique yet bound together by a common love for heroin. It deals with their trials and tribulations and examines why drug addicts use drugs in the first place. The movie tells it like it is and doesn't for once glorify drug use. The film is stark, real and contains some seriously disturbing as well as brilliant footage. The drug induced 'trips' of Mark Renton, the protagonist are enjoyable but get boring after a while. The film also tries to tackle issues like Scottish identity (the scene in the stunning Scottish countryside, where Mark vents his agnst against his English colonisers is a highlight). The film also deals with basic human emotions such as love, hate, honesty and deciet. The film follows the groups' lives to the end of a drug caper, after which we see Renton stealing the drug money on which all his friends had equal claim. The last scene leaves us wondering if he 'chooses life' or falls back into his meaningless heroin filled existence.
The comic scenes are both dark and poignant at the same time. The acting is good. The direction better. The only complaint being the thick Scottish accent. Those not versed with the Scottish accent may find Robert Carlyle's character virtually incomprehendable.
All in all, a short, dark and funny film about drugs.