All a potential heroin user needs to do to repress his/her taste for adventure is take one look at Keith Richards, whose heroin use made him a poster child for the right-to-die movement. After a brush with Richards, even starving Ethiopians think to themselves, "At least I've got my health."
Nevertheless, since I'm young and impressionable, the story of friends Renton (Ewan McGregor), Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Tommy (Kevin McKidd) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) inspired me to run out to my local dealer, shoot up some heroin, commit some robberies and have sex with young teenage girls, just like my new cinematic heroes.
Unfortunately, Renton always has some bug up his arse about wanting to change his life, leading me to wonder whether the movie really did advocate heroin as the True Path. Then I saw an advertisement for "Trainspotting," portraying the film as a comedy rather than as a self-help video. Realizing my error, I decided to see the movie again with this new frame of reference.
When Renton got it on with a young high-schooler I laughed my ass off. When Begbie beat the crap out of a few people and stole their money, I giggled like a schoolgirl. When an infant died because its junkie mother neglected it, I let loose with loud, resounding guffaws that left me gasping for air. Suddenly I noticed the other theater patrons moving away from me and realized the true genius of the film -- I myself had become isolated, just like my cinematic heroes.
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