Trainspotting Analysis

trainspotting review

Trainspotting and the Consumer Society

Trainspotting is a British film directed by Danny Boyle in 1996, adapted from the eponymous novel written by Irvine Welsh. Danny Boyle has also directed “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Shallow Grave” and also “127 hours”.

Trainspotting takes place in Edinburgh, in the 80’s. Mark Renton is a heroin addict, as his friends, most of which are also psychopath either a liar or a thief … When deciding to stop taking hard drugs, his environment and his relationship bring them back constantly to heroin.

Trainspotting Analysis

The title, “Trainspotting” is a metaphor. The “transpotters” are people playing a kind of game is to watch the trains go all day and record their numbers. This game is synonymous with boredom and from all forms of addictive or compulsive activity, so you can make a comparison with the drug. But the metaphor can also represent, as Renton sees trains to take, opportunities to stop the drugs and leave his friends, but he does nothing, except at the end where he took his chance, and chose the train (of life) .

The characters, well defined, have very specific characteristics. However, they share the same idea: to escape society’s rules by taking drugs, each in his own way. They refuse to integrate the universal mode and the consumer society, much more despaired than they are. This aversion is clearly shown by the image of the parents of Renton, leading a sordid life and baffrant of entertainment in their pathetic homes . Mark, Spud and Sick Boy choose drugs to touch the bottom, that is to say, the sense of life.

Quotes from Trainspotting:

– “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 suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. 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? ”

– “People think it’s all about misery and desperation and death and all that shit, which is not to be ignored. But what they forget is the pleasure of it. Otherwise we wouldn’t do it. After all, we’re not fucking stupid. At least, we’re not that fucking stupid. Take the best orgasm you ever had, multiply it by a thousand and you’re still nowhere near it. When you’re on junk you have only one worry: scoring. When you’re off it you are suddenly obliged to worry about all sorts of other shite. Got no money: can’t get pissed. Got money: drinking too much. Can’t get a bird: no chance of a ride. Got a bird: too much hassle. You have to worry about bills, about food, about some football team that never fucking wins, about human relationships and all the things that really don’t matter when you’ve got a sincere and truthful junk habit.”

Cite this article as: Tim, "Trainspotting Analysis, April 15, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, April 15, 2012,

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