8 Things You Learn Re-Watching Trainspotting

The drug-fueled psychotropic train-ride has been re-released ahead of its sequel...

Trainspotting Poster

Quips about a Terminator sequel with Arnie stood pensively on the platform of any indeterminate British train station, watching the 14:08 to Waterloo whistle by with a cup of piss-weak Pumpkin cafe coffee in hand aside, there has been a lot of buzz around the release of T2 Trainspotting.

Ahead of Danny Boyle's long-awaited sequel hitting the big screen, the 1996 now-'first installment' has itself enjoyed a re-release across a selected number of UK cinemas.

And so, tickets were booked to go and watch it in all its big-screen glory - alongside an audience of about two dozen fellow film aficionados. (Assuming you have to be, paying cinema prices to watch a re-release you could rent for £3.49 on Amazon Video.) The average age was noticeably older than your typical cinema audience.

If you haven't seen Trainspotting in some time - perhaps not since you first walked out of that cinema in 1996 with Born Slippy still ringing in your ears - then there are a few things that giving this masterpiece a re-watch can teach you.

8. It's Been Crying Out For A Re-Watch If You First Saw It In Your Early-Teens

Trainspotting Poster

There are some who had the fortune of watching Trainspotting as a fully-functioning, world-wise adult with the ability to draw the inference of the layers of subtext evident in almost every scene.

But - for an entire subsequent generation - Trainspotting was available in knock-off DVD format at the age of about thirteen. And for them - it was an entirely different experience.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that films like Trainspotting have the natural ability to draw rampant pubescent curiosity. The kind of film you have to arrange a sleepover to watch in your early teens and wait for the host's parents to go to bed before you stick it on - thumb hovering over the mute button should there be any extended periods of adult content. It is the kind of film you knew it was something your parents probably wouldn't allow you to watch yourself, and you knew it wasn't crap, which meant - naturally - that it was something you wanted to see.

Invariably, the one with volume management responsibilities was never let down by Kelly MacDonald.

Trainspotting film

Except then it was all about seeing a pretty steamy sex-scenes. When you come to a re-watch some ten years later it's about the crippling uneasiness of witnessing a casual fling turn bad in the worst possible way.

And a similar effect occurs throughout. The graphic image of the dead baby was shocking, but now it's the haunting cries of the mother that deliver the goosebumps. Sick Boy shooting the dog up the arse was funny, now you don't even notice as you weigh up in your own mind his unifying - yet cynical - theory of life. The infamous toilet scene was just gross, but now - well, it's still gross - but with an added layer of subtext about the desperate lengths an addict will go to to find a realm of escapism when faced with the cold light of sobriety.

The first thing you realise by re-watching Trainspotting is that Trainspotting is a film that absolutely needs re-watching.


Aspiring screenwriter. Avid Gooner. Saving the rest of the self-descriptive stuff for the autobiography.