Finally saw 'Trainspotting', and I've got questions! (Open SPOILERS, obviously.)

Spoilers aplenty! Thanks in advance…

  1. What killed the baby? My first guess would be dehydration. I’ve seen speculation of SIDS, but that would seem to have left the infant facing downward.
  2. Did the Diane character (Kelly MacDonald) play a larger role in the novel? In the film, the character seems almost pointless. Am I missing anything?
  3. In the sequence where Renton OD’s, his dealer Swanney drags him down the stairs to the street, calls a cab, throws him into the cab, and then stuffs some cash into his chest pocket. The cabbie takes Renton to the hospital, drags him to the door of the emergency room, and then takes the cash out of his pocket. So, was the cash Swanney left Renton a refund for the bad load? (In which case the cabbie robbed Renton.) Or was that Swanney’s methodology for paying the cab driver?
  4. Is it reasonable to suggest that Renton’s decision to steal Tommy’s sex tape led to Tommy’s death? The missing tape was the final straw for Tommy’s relationship with Lizzie, leading Tommy to despair, and his decision to try heroin.
  5. Spud’s girl Gail leaves him alone in her bed to sleep one off. The next morning, Spud awakens to find that he has, um, soiled the bed. Is crapping the bed a known problem for drug addicts?
  6. Why did Renton steal the drug deal cash from his mates in the final sequence? The voice-over sort of explains it: Begbie was an abusive psychopath; there was no loyalty with Sick Boy, who couldn’t be trusted; only Spud was worthy of loyalty, which Renton repaid in the final moments. I have heard the notion that drug addicts don’t have friends, just other people they do drugs with. So I took the ending to be a commentary on that notion.
  7. Is the sequel T2 worth watching? Does it have a similar grim tone as the original?

‘Trainspotting’ is an amazing film, and I’m glad I finally saw it. But I don’t think I’ll be watching it again anytime soon. :eek:

My cut and paste is not working well but I’ll attempt this- Trainspotting is one of my favorite movies. It’s been probably 20 years since I read the novel though so some of the things are from hazy memory.

  1. I think the baby died of dehydration/neglect or she was just sick and no one noticed. I don’t remember if it was specific in the book or not.

  2. I don’t think Dianne was pointless at all. She’s morally ambiguous in the same way the people around Renton are but she’s smart enough to point out to Renton that he will not get out of the situation he is in until he makes changes. It also shows that while Renton wants to draw the line at being with a school girl, in light of all the other morally poor choices he makes, he can’t make himself stand up to that one either. In the books, she’s made out to be even smarter then she is in the movies- she’s someone he, who used to be a good college student on the right path, can talk to about something other than stealing the next fix.

  3. Yes, stealing the tape is directly linked to Tommy’s downfall. I think Renton probably feels (if he does) worse about that than giving Tommy his first fix. He figures if not him, someone else would have.

  4. That I don’t know. I thought heroin caused constipation but I don’t think Spud was exclusive.

  5. The scene in the bar with Begbie is important. Renton is realizing these are his mates and he’s trapped in these same scenarios that play over and over the same way because he can’t break free of them. Any more time with Begbie and he’s going to be wrapped up in a new level of violence and Sick Boy, arguably his best friend, is just finding more and more ways to end up in jail. The only way he can leave his mates is to betray them so he is not welcome back but he can’t bring himself to really hurt Spud, who is the only one that just follows along without actually instigating any of the evil deeds they get up to.

  6. T2 is not as good- it isn’t as brilliantly written and falls flat a few times but it was true to the characters mostly and it was good to see them again.

  1. The book is really a series of loosely linked vignettes, most of which were left out of the film. There are quite a lot of other characters who don’t really play a part in any greater story.
  2. I think the taxi is called because Swanney knows that an ambulance is less likely to attend his address. The money is to pay the cabbie.
  3. Yes. I’m not sure Renton or Sick Boy know that the tape is the cause of the break up though; Tommy might not have told them since he certainly didn’t know for sure that they had it.
  4. I think in the book it’s a different character that this happens to. As is seen earlier in the film, coming off heroin makes your bowels very loose. On the other hand the guy was very, very drunk and he might just have had an upset stomach.
  5. As well as what LLCoolL wrote, I think Irvine Welsh links this with Thatcher saying things like there is no society, the individual is paramount etc. (Welsh despises Thatcher).
  6. I enjoyed T2, but it’s not as good as the first film (I’ve never laughed in the cinema as much as during the first half of Trainspotting). T2 is based on the book Porno, which is a loose sequel to both Trainspotting and a mostly unrelated novel, “Glue”. I think Glue is very good, better than Porno. It’s not as funny or shocking as Trainspotting but its an important description of what happened to working class people in the last quarter of the 20th century.

I would say, “Skip T2”. I recall feeling somewhat cheated after watching it. Really seemed phoned-in and an after-thought.

I think the way Trainspotting finishes is good as is. T2 is like when somebody says, “And then what happened?” after the punchline is delivered.

Thanks for your feedback.

Fair enough. But she does sort of threaten/blackmail him. Something along the lines, “If you don’t see me again, I’ll tell the cops on you.” Maybe not the most credible threat.

Yes, I read another review suggesting a similar notion: Renton needs to burn his bridges once and for all to get away from those guys. I dunno - it certainly seems they’ll come after him to get their money back. He could’ve just taken his share, and disappeared.

Good point. It’s almost a callback to the prior scene where Renton makes an emergency visit to the world’s filthiest restroom, and winds up, err, digging for the suppositories.

American here. Wow, I was not aware of that Thatcher quote. Criminy…

Rather than not show up, they’d be likely to show up with police escort, I’m pretty sure UK ambulance crews can’t just refuse a call due to the area. He’s just avoiding the authorities.

It is when she’s under 16 years old - he is absolutely terrified of being sent to prison for under age sex (I think he’s well into his 20s by this point).

You should absolutely see the sequel. Yes, it’s not as good as the original, but it’s a pretty good film in its own right.

The story actually explains why its called Trainspotting in the first place. :smiley:

  1. Diane was the voice of reason, urging him out of the rut he’s dug for himself.
  2. When Tommy is talking about his breakup, he specifically tells Renton that the sex tape was the last straw for their relationship. Tommy didn’t know Renton had taken it. He and Lizzie thought it had accidentally gotten taken to the video store. I noticed that at Tommy’s funeral, Lizzie is getting a death stare from Spuds girlfriend, who I’m guessing blames Lizzie for Tommy’s decline and fall.

I didn’t catch the first few times that Tommy had AIDS. Didn’t pay attention to the graffiti in the apartment halls and just thought Renton was being careful in general about getting tested.

It’s a hard film to re-watch when you see the happy baby crawling around.

OP here. Thanks to everyone for the feedback! Much obliged…