Trainspotting (1996)

Choose life.  Choose a movie.  Choose one of the year's most 
eagerly anticipated independent films, an unabashedly uncensored 
portrait of heroin addiction that, somehow along the way, has won 
comparisons to PULP FICTION.  Huh?  Though closer to bleak drama 
than black comedy, the story of four Edinburgh addicts *does* have 
its fair share of silliness.  (Earlier episodes are the funniest, 
such as some stomach-churning chuckles involving "the worst toilet 
in Scotland.")  The trailer, which played in front of every single 
art-house release of the last six months, suggests something more 
hip and a whole lot looser.  And, in fact, TRAINSPOTTING may *be* 
breezier to those who can understand at least three-quarters of the 
dialogue.  (I could not and the impenetrable accents merely whisked 
me back to that old Mel Brooks routine, where someone like Kenneth 
Mars would speak with a mouthful of marbles and be answered by a 
resounding chorus of "WHAT!?")  With its frank content and so many 
ugly, unpleasant images-- sex, drugs, dilapidated flats-- this is 
not a movie for every American.  (Message to Bob Dole:  stay home.  
You won't like this one.)  From SHALLOW GRAVE teammates Danny Boyle 
(director), John Hodge (writer) and Andrew Macdonald (producer).  
(Rated "R"/93 min.)

Grade: B+

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted in triangle.movies in Movie Hell Extra: August 8, 1996

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