The following sample essay on An analysis of Trainspotting. The opening speech of the film Trainspotting is accompanied by a speedy soundtrack visual style. It opens with a scene of the film’s main character, Mark Renton, jumping over a car and running down the street from the store he just robbed, the sense of urgency throughout the film is established immediately. Aurally there is Renton’s “Choose Life” speech and Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” playing as the soundtrack.
In Throughout the speech Renton is rejecting the yuppie culture of a nuclear family, material possessions, a paying job, and dental insurance, he is rebelling, but this isn’t just the usual disaffection of youth as it is a deeper, more pervasive dissatisfaction with a culture he views as sick and stifling. The song “Lust for Life” plays almost in its entirety, and the quick editing during this sequence between the running down the street, a soccer match, Renton passing out from shooting smack, and a scene in Mother Superior’s flat.
These divergent scenes are all interconnected by the song and Renton’s continuing witty narration. These first six scenes, until the point that Renton first tries unsuccessfully to quit heroin cold turkey, are edited with quick camera cuts and connected by the soundtrack. When Renton first enters the bar where he uses “the worst toilet in Scotland,” we are greeted for the first time with the point of view shots.
Through Renton’s eyes, we see the bored faces of the people in the bar, the long and harrowing hallway to the bathroom, and finally the repulsive toilet itself.
Over the soundtrack, we hear an classical-styled orchestral piece. Trainspotting uses this music to create an ironic backdrop to the film’s disgusting toilet scene. The combination of the beautiful music and a nauseating scene makes the scene memorable. The toilet scene also represents the first use of a hallucinatory scene, but later scenes of Renton’s detoxification were stronger in this area.
The diving down into the toilet by Renton looks unrealistic, and the water underneath seems too clean and blue to related to the murky water above. It could be argued that the scene was supposed to show Renton escaping the conditions through his mind, but it also seems unfaithful to Irvine Welsh’s novel and weakens the scene. When Renton is at the door of the room that holds the grotesque toilet, we see digitally written across the bathroom door is “the worst toilet in Scotland.
” This is the second use of titles in the film, much in the same way the major characters were freeze-framed and given names over the freeze frames in the opening scene. The use of titles is yet another visual style of the film that the creators of the film exploit well. Boyle uses quick editing throughout the film to establish its frenetic pace and lives of the characters. This creates an erratic sense of story-telling that is able to bring in a number of scenes that exist not necessarily to propel the story, but to propel the frantic vitality and humour of the film.