Danny Boyle’s masterpiece re-released a week prior to the sequel’s appearance on the big screen is still as immediate and visceral now as it was 21 years ago on release.
Renton (Ewan McGregor) is a heroin addict and he implores us to choose life whilst telling us the story of his attempts to get clean. The film is hilarious, intimidating, deeply upsetting and always running at breakneck speed, which is how we meet our main character.
I first saw this on VHS when I was 16 and repeat screenings since then have changed my outlook on this classic film. It was always bleak and never glamourised drugs but watching again as a parent it feels bleaker than ever. Even so, there is hope and its kinetic frenetic energy feels perfect for the subject matter. If you haven’t already seen it you must treat yourself to one of the all time best British films in preparation for the return of Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie.