Swimming in the Community Cesspool
Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting uses the combination of grotesque imagery within a narrative lacking clear progression to portray the nihilistic lifestyle of a heroin addict. Welsh creates distinct voices through the main characters in his novel, who all share the longing for a sense of brotherhood and community. The characters share a bond through their heroin addiction, and the reader gets pulled into this brotherhood through the use of first-person narration and other structural elements to create sympathy.
John Hodge and Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Trainspotting uses mise-en-scène, tone, and various cinematic techniques to allow the viewers to sympathize with the characters and engulf themselves in the lifestyle of heroin addiction. The screenplay helps the viewer share a part in the dilemmas the characters in the film face. The adaptation enables the viewer to connect with the characters and share in their sense of community. The stylistic techniques Hodge and Boyle use in the film -- such as coloration, camera angles, and supernatural elements -- each play a part to convey the tone of the grotesque romanticism of these heroin addicts’ lives. The audience thus experiences the hyperbolic nature of a heroin addict’s...
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