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Trainspotting is a drama/fantasy film directed by Danny Boyle. Famous
actors included Ewan McGregor, who plays Renton, a Scottish junkie who
wastes his life by having his life evolve around drugs until he gets
sent to court and then hospital; he then decides to clean up his act
and clean up.
The film starts off with Renton (McGregor) running through the street
with friends, he explains his life and friends. We get the impression
from him he thinks drugs are good and he doesn’t care about anything
else apart from having a good time.
Teenager and young males who are middle-lower class are most likely to
watch this film as some people may be able to relate to this film
especially drug users who are now clean. Trainspotting attracts a
niche audience rather than a mass audience because people may not want
to watch a film which involves awful material such as drugs, sex and
abuse as this may offend people. It is more aimed at audiences who are
able to select and reject the information given; active audiences.
The typical generic conventions of the place where Renton is staying
is a council house which is messy, walls falling apart, mould,
mattresses of floor, tatty clothes and old television and sofa. This
tells us that he is lower class and a typical drug user. We also get
the impression like they are squatters from the state of the house and
all the people living in there.
The narrative in the film is non linear and has a montage sequence, by
doing this it keeps us interested because it isn’t straight forward
like most films. We are also put in different situations such as when
Renton takes drugs but then we are put in the situation when Renton is
off drugs so by being put in different situations we are kept
interested and involved in the film.
The film is very art house as it has many scenes which are unreal but
we know that it is and are able to accept this.
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"Trainspotting as a Success." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Apr 2019
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the baby is walking of the ceiling and twists his head right round,
and also when Renton gets sucked down the toilet and swims around.
The audience’s generic expectations are fulfilled as we would expect
drug users to be drinking, smoking, taking heroine, having sex, living
in a messy council flat, so we aren’t disappointed and the situation
is more real than if they were living in a big, tidy posh house.
The iconographic features in the film is that when we see a splif we
know this is to do with drugs and when we see a council flat we know
the person living there is mostly likely to be working class,
therefore we are getting more involved and more interested in the
The major generic themes in Trainspotting is that drugs control your
life but it is possible to come clean if you work at it, even when
surrounded by friends that still smoke drugs. Another theme is that
drugs will get you into trouble and you will get sent to hospital if
you overdose. By telling the audience this then people who do take
drugs may stop taking them once they find out what happens and those
who want to give up may get a boost when they see that you can if you
try, as Mark has shown us.
The codes and conventions in Trainspotting make the film a success as
people are able to either relate to what is happening or they are more
aware of what drugs can do to you. Once people see this they may feel
the need to help people to get off drugs are warn people of the
consequences, this is the main purpose of the film, to warn people and
cut the amount of people who take drugs. I also think that is a
success as Ewan McGregor is stared and the audience will recognise him
from films such as Star wars and Moulin Rouge and therefore know that
the film is likely to be good to watch. Ewan McGregor has also stared
in the film Shallow hale which Danny Boyle (The director of
Trainspotting) directed. Shallow Hale is also a drama film and if the
audience have watched Shallow Hale they have expectations that Ewan
McGregor needs to live up to.
I think the whole art house effect adds to the success as it is made
to look unreal but not like a cartoon. It doesn’t put us off the film
as it goes with the fact that drugs cause weird effects such as
hallucination, so in a way it is involving us into the film and
letting us know how it feels to be on drugs.
The film has also been a success because of the director “Danny Boyle”
who has directed films such as Shallow Hale and has become the English
Quentin Tarentino because of his camera effects. He also makes use of
soundtrack which is important in films as it adds tension and can
carry the story on to make it more interesting, "It is very important
with this kind of film that the soundtrack was very appealing so that
it drives the film and people connect with it at different points."