January 18, 2009

Trainspotting (1995)

This is my first Danny Boyle movie. His much feted "Slumdog Millionaire" is supposed to come to Browning Cinema in March; I'm (just a little) impatient. The Hindi teasers of "Slumdog" are out as well and I want to watch that version too. It would be interesting to see what came through and what was lost in both - in the English original and in the Hindi dub.

I loved the stylistic touches of "Trainspotting", especially its heroin-laced surrealistic scenes. Ewan McGregor squirrelling himself into a filthy toilet, and finding himself in blue, clear underwater. McGregor having a heroin seizure and falling down, falling through the carpet, peering up at a carpet-rededged world. McGregor, locked in a room and in the throes of drug withdrawal, finds his bed trolleying forward as the space behind it turns into a tunnel. While a dead baby crawls on the roof.

Another brilliant scene is Spud's interview - the camera moves forward, then back, then forward, then back, dizzyingly as though mimicking Spud's jagged, imbalanced senses - also, every once in a while, cut to the interviewers and you can see them getting more and more bemused/repelled by his answers.

In these scenes it is drug use which causes reality to slip away, sometimes into horror. Drugs are not always needed, as "Synecdoche, New York" which I just saw shows; it has slipped up reality, chronology and sanity.

How could anybody say this movie justifies/celebrates drug use? It thoroughly incriminates.

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