Trainspotting is a film about a group of young Scottish men and their heroin addiction. The viewer follows the protagonist and narrator, Mark Renton, through his life as a drug addict and hisstruggle to regain control over himself. Despite the seriousness of the topic and the graphic scenes, there is humour throughout the picture. This is achieved through the mostly light-hearted narration ofRenton who distances us and himself from his misery. Still, the humour does not glorify nor diminish the issue of drug abuse. There is an ironic undertone that always leads us back to the hard realityof a life led by heroin. This ambivalence shall be elaborated in three situations of the film.
Renton decided to stop taking drugs and he has a neat plan how to do it. We see him doing all thepreparations and while he recites the plan like a cooking recepie. He seems very determined until he reaches the point of taking a valium to “soothe the pain”. There is an almost indistinguishable changein his narrative when he declares that he only needs one last shot. We see the door he barricaded with wooden boards seconds before opened up again. The determination he build up in a very clean andstraightforward way is destroyed in an instant. This has a humorous effect because it is something that most people can relate to for we tend to break our resolutions. In Rentons case, however, it isnot to something inoffensive that he is yielding to. The viewer realises that the addiction has a lot of power over him. Enough to break his strongest will.
As the effect of the last heroin shotRenton has taken fades, he simultaneously has to realise that his constipation, caused by heroin, has stopped too. In the desperate search for a toilet he gives the description of a perfect, luxurious andhygienic lavatory. What he instead finds is described as the “worst toilet in Scotland”. The viewer can understand that in a situation like his, he still decides to use it. Less understandable is...
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