Recently, due to my parent's recommendations, I watched the movie Trainspotting with a few friends. It was hard hitting and amazing. Other than the obvious 'don't do heroin' message from the movie, there was a lot that could be gathered, and my friends and I were just analyzing it for half an hour over pizza.

The first message was to let go of toxic people. When Renton got clean and got a job working in real estate, he was finally happy and in a good place- until he let his 'friends' Spud, Sick Boy, and Begbie move in with him, since they got him spiraling in the lifestyle of selling and doing heroin again. Thankfully, he learned his lesson and got out of there- fast- but he wouldn't even have had to be in that situation if he hadn't let them in.

The second message was that anybody could turn their life around. Even though his addiction had driven him to the lowest of low points, he had narrowly avoided jail time, and watched one of his best friends die from an overdose as well as his friend's baby die to neglect, he still was determined to make a better life for himself by the end of the movie. This was partly due to circumstance and willpower (his friend got arrested but he decided to go to rehab to get clean) and partially due to his parents, who locked him in a room and forced him to go through with the withdrawal process the proper way.

The third message was probably the most hard-hitting message of them all to me- it was to romanticize having a normal life. In the beginning, Renton was talking about having a normal life sucks compared to heroin- however, the images shown along with that monologue were gross and not ideal. He talks about how working a job and starting a family, and dying of old age at a retirement home is pointless when you could choose to do heroin and not have to worry about any of it. However, by the end of the movie, that's all he wants, and all he is working towards. He speaks directly to the audience of middle-class people watching this in their living room when he says "I'm gonna be just like you." He wants and is looking forward to having a job, a family, even romanticizing the boring things that come with it such as mortgages and dental insurances, as well as the everyday good things that come with that lifestyle such as walks in the park or Family Christmas, which are things that we take for granted. Many movies, even classics like Pulp Fiction, romanticize the idea of hard drugs and a dangerous, violent, criminal lifestyle. However, this movie does the exact opposite and almost fills you with a renewed love for the everyday things in life, which is ironic for such a dark and disturbing movie.


All in all, if you can handle it, Trainspotting is one of the most darkly real movies of all time, and a must watch.