Trainspotting (1996) (mini-review++)

(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 8

directing 9

effects 10

editing 9

writing 9

SW SCORE: 45

4.5 out of 5 🐙

++

Pulp Fiction (1994) was the first independent studio film I ever saw. Up until then, I subsisted on a steady diet of major studio fare. It’s fine. I had fun. I fell in love with movies that were not risky. A lot of them were terrible. A lot of them were terrific. A lot of them were meh. But when I saw Pulp Fiction, my suburbanite mind was blown. Trainspotting was another mindblower for my sheltered mind. I was too scared to smoke a cigarette let alone smoke weed let alone do some blow let alone chase the white dragon. A movie about heroin use, heroin addiction, and the sundry problems and sinister characters that surround that lifestyle choice was so far out of the realm of my film watching history that it wasn’t even conceivable. I know. I told you I was sheltered. On top of that, I had never been to a club or listened to much non-mainstream music so the soundtrack was unlike anything I had heard before. Sure, to audiophiles it wasn’t daring stuff. But for me, Martians might as well have recorded these songs.

My personal circumstances aside, the story was well paced and riveting. it mixed gritty rough life with surreal heroin-induced daymares, nightmares, and hallucinations. The ending was in doubt until minutes before the credits rolled and it was a blast getting there. Danny Boyle showed off his masterful directing skills in only his 2nd feature film (no disrespect to Shallow Grave). The dialogue was razor sharp and funny as hell. There were no good guys, everyone was neutral to straight up nasty. But despite the magical side effect scenes, it seemed like these people could be real. And the fact that these things could happen to real people was a real mindf***.

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(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

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