Sep 19, 2006


Since I have watched almost every movie ever released whose name/poster /storyline/actors / director even remotely appealed to me and I am still not bored enough of movies I had no other option but to go for reruns.And I watched Trainspotting again( yet again).

If you ever wondered which is the best opening monologue(in fact the best opening scene) ever in a movie its this :

Click to view the 2nd most amazing monologue ever

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday night. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got heroin?

And if you ever wondered which is the best closing sequence( yeah its better than American Beauty) in a movie its this:

Click to view the most amazing monologue ever

Now I've justified this to myself in all sorts of ways. It wasn't a big deal, just a minor betrayal. Or we'd outgrown each other, you know, that sort of thing. But let's face it, I ripped them off - my so called mates. But Begbie, I couldn't give a shit about him. And Sick Boy, well he'd done the same to me, if he'd only thought of it first. And Spud, well okay, I felt sorry for Spud - he never hurt anybody. So why did I do it? I could offer a million answers - all false. The truth is that I'm a bad person. But, that's gonna change - I'm going to change. This is the last of that sort of thing. Now I'm cleaning up and I'm moving on, going straight and choosing life. I'm looking forward to it already. I'm gonna be just like you. The job, the family, the fucking big television. The washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electric tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisure wear, luggage, three piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing gutters, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die.

You can watch these two scenes over and over for one and a half hours and still you'll get one heck of a movie but Trainspotting is much more than that.
I had first watched Trainspotting some years back and never really cared to find out the correct interpretation of the title until recently. Although Irvine Welsh never gave any explanation for the selection of the title ,Google did give me a satisfactory answer :

The next paragraph is purely for academic purposes( and it is an unadluterated copy-paste job from different sources):

In England in the 1980s, the term "trainspotter" started being used to describe those who track the schedules and car numbers of passing trains. This practice wasn't very widespread, so as time passed and the public became aware of the practice, the term became used as a mildly derogative term for anyone obsessed over minute details, to the point of obsessive-compulsion, of anything.And as Ewan Mcgregor puts it very aptly -The first thing is that heroin users mainline along their arms and inject up and down on the main vein. 'Station to station,' they call it. And for addicts, everything narrows down to that one goal of getting drugs. Maybe 'trainspotters' are like that, obsessively taking down the numbers of trains.Furthermore, after enough intravenous injections of anything, the vein that's getting the injections begins to collapse and turn a dark purple color. Heavy heroin users experience this even if they rotate injection spots; eventually the veins begin to darken and become quite noticable. British and American slang both call these darkened veins "train tracks." Given the "trainspotting" definition of watching and tracking trains, if the two ideas are combined, a "trainspotter" may mean someone whose hobby is keeping track of train tracks from heroin use.According to yet another interpretation,the movie compares the meaninglessness of heroin addiction with the pointlessness of trainspotting.

Coming back to the point(and originality) I don't think Irvine Welsh or Danny Boyle had a great social cause in mind when they were doing Trainspotting.But the movie did give an important message and that too wonderfully. You don't have to be preachy to do that, you don't have to be all-out depressing to do that, you don't have to be over the top to do that and you can serve hope in the end and still do that. You don't have to be Requiem for a Dream to scare people away from drugs.You can be humourous and still portray the sadness, isolation and desperation.
You can be Scottish, you can be addicted, you can be disgusted and you can be extremely funny all at one time:

It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched miserable servile pathetic trash that was ever shat on civilization. Some people hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to get colonized by. We're ruled by effete assholes. It's a shite state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and all the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference!

And it was one of the best acted movies ever , oh no I won't bring in the topic of Oscars and its futility.You feel the desperation when Renton tries to reach for his pill in shit(literally) and its a mind bending experience for you too when Renton is hallucinating.
Who the fuck will try to touch something even remotely heroin after watching Trainspotting( If only people had better taste in movies and Trainspotting was as big a hit as a Titanic or Star wars there wouldn't be any drug problem existing in this world) .
No Shawshank Redemption or Godfather can change lives but any single scene in Trainspotting can( shit i am sounding as if I was personally affected).

Trainspotting is one of the greatest movies ever made and the good thing is that it didn't even try to be one.


Anonymous said...

was it that good??I thought it was funny but extremely disgusting at times.. seems i have to see the movie again

Vimal said...

As u will probably know, I have never heard of this movie before. ur post is really making me want to see the movie. will definitely watch it sometime.
And ur final line, "Trainspotting is one of the greatest movies ever made and the good thing is that it didn't even try to be one." shows how good a writer u are becoming. keep it flowing!

D.Raw El Payne said...

Vimal, there are fans and then there are fan-atics.

Manan for Trainspotting is of the latter kind. He says he doesn't like things forced upon him, but you must understand that if Manan is fixed upon a movie...he shall try to evangelize to the entire world that it is the best movie ever.

Do not watch it. You'll just end up saying "shite" a lot.

Yes, agreed. Nice last line.


manan said...

I am forced to being forceful because I dont want people to miss out on anything so good.Oh yeah if u suggest me some movie even half as good as Trainspotting I'll be indebted to u for rest of my life.And Vimal don't listen to this fucker and watch the movie... i agree you might end up saying "shite" a lot but thats just a collateral. If u happen to improve ur vocab along with a "nirvana-like" experience (which u'll have while watching trainspotting) is that a bad thing?

D.Raw El Payne said...


There are horses for courses. And if you somehow visualize Vimal as a course and Trainspotting as a horse, then there is a serious mismatch. Let Vimal see the movie, let him endure it...but I doubt he'll revel in it and get back and say that it is the best movie ever.

It is the best movie in the world for you. So let it be. :)

Any movie I suggest would only be half as good as T-spotting for you - cuz its you, darn it! Don't you see how baseless that challenge was?


PS: Vimal, watch Remember The Titans. And please Requiem for a Dream too.

manan said...

Obv its my opinion..And btw where was the challenge..i simply said if u suggest me some movie even half as good as trainspotting(according to me!) I'll be very grateful to you..And Requiem for a dream might just fulfil that criterion but then u didnt recommend me that!

Vimal said...

@Manan - I shall watch Trainspotting

@Payne - I shall watch ur recos too!

(No guarantee, though, of when for both)

@both of u - stop fighting. I will get back with the results :)

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