Every time, it starts the same way. You get the cold sweats, the chills, the feelings of guilt. You heart sinks a little, and deep inside you is slight quivering anticipation. Your mouth waters as you chastise yourself, saying things like, “I’ll never do this again,” and “this is the last time, I swear.”
It’s not true.
The truth is, you will do it again, and you’ll go through the same little dance each time, feeling more guilty than the last, but you just can’t help yourself. Having made all the preparations, getting your gear set up, and settling in for your fix, you feel the lights lower around you and you open your mind to a wholly different world, the likes of which you shouldn’t understand, but somehow do…
Watching Drug movies can be like that.
Sometimes a movie comes along that glamourizes drugs and makes them seem to be some mystical magic that is just misunderstood. They make you wonder what doing hard drugs might be like, and they make them seem just that bit more tempting.
Trainspotting is not one of those movies. It shows the filthy, gruelling, and disturbing side of drugs. While every scene in the movie is a masterpiece of light and colour set to a rocking soundtrack, the harsh realities it reveals are, to say the least, unsettling.
We follow Renton, played by Ewan McGregor, as he narrates our way through the mid to late 1980’s in Scottland like some sort of 40’s detective story. Based on a book by the same name, Trainspotting tells a tale of heroine abuse and it’s consequences, using an episodic style, and ultimately, ending on an optimistic, if not slightly self delusional, note.
The faint of heart should not, I repeat, should not watch this movie. There’s swearing, nudity, hallucinatory scenes, extensive and graphic drug use, and a dead baby. Then there’s the scene entitled “The Worst Toilet in Scottland.” It takes place in the first 10 minutes of the movie, and serves as an excellent litmus test to see if you can handle the imagery you are going to see while watching this movie.
I cannot stress it enough; this movie is disturbing. But then, so is life.