I went back and watched (for the first time) Trainspotting on a whim because of all the publicity the second movie is getting. I had to see what the hubub was all about. Trainspotting is as close to what some might say is a realistic portrayal of hard drug use with a few fantastical elements thrown in by director Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge to heighten the experience (no pun intended).
Boyle has some solid credits to his name since he came on the scene with this in 1996. It helps that he has a fantastic cast or Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and the rest to fully encompass their roles as these drugged-out 20-somethings. Some of the scenes are, quite frankly, brutal and terrifying. There's a sense of foreboding going into a few of them and seeing the scenarios play out exactly as you think they would. At other times, there's an underlying sense of uneasy humor running through it.
At only 90 minutes, this feels like an extended episode more than a feature-length movie to me. Everything is happening so quick, and the ground we cover in the 90 minutes feels like a sprint over miles of story. It will be interesting to revisit these characters further down the road when the second film comes out, and perhaps maybe things have changed for the better when we do. Or, you know, they'll still be exactly who they are on drugs.