"Trainspotting" takes unflinching look at heroin addiction
July 22, 1996
Web posted at: 10:20 p.m. EDT
From Correspondent Mark Scheerer
NEW YORK (CNN) -- One of the most talked-about films of the
summer is one that is expected to premier in the United
States this week.
"Trainspotting," now a huge hit in Britain, takes an
unflinching look at heroin addiction.
The movie follows the exploits of Alex Renton, a young
Scottish drug addict. But it's more than just a grim,
cautionary tale despite graphic depictions of heroin and its
Actor Ewan McGregor says the movie focuses on the lives of a
group of young people.
"I think the fact that they do heroin is almost kind of a
side issue," McGregor said. "But that's obviously the one
thing people are going to talk about."
Screenwriter John Hodge agrees that "smack" is not the star of the film.
"That's not why we made the film, and I think anyone who goes
to see it will find that's not really what it's about," Hodge
said. "It's about the characters."
Ewan Bremner, who plays "Spud" in the film, says the movie
carries an effective anti-drug message.
"A film like 'Trainspotting' is a good education in that area
-- without having to do the drug yourself," Bremner said.
Director Danny Boyle is part of the creative team that
brought "Shallow Grave" to theaters in 1993. He says
"Trainspotting" is no downer.
"Ultimately, it celebrates the human spirit," Boyle said. "It
doesn't denigrate it. It actually celebrates it, which is why
people come out of the film feeling elevated when, in fact,
in theory, you should feel pretty depressed in certain ways,
but you actually feel exhilarated, I hope."
McGregor says the movie allows viewers to make up their own
mind. (85K AIFF or WAV sound of McGregor)
Audiences in England have given "Trainspotting" a huge
thumbs-up, making it the second-biggest grossing British film
since "Four Weddings and A Funeral."
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