The more I look at all the character Renton does in the film, I wonder if he doesn’t collapse under his own weight and if we are left with McGregor playing only a series of roles within the same persona. He begins the film, he punctuates it at the key moments, he brings it to an end; the other key characters are mediated through him; he comments, he narrates, he cracks jokes; he’s a bit of a bastard but he’s basically decent; he clearly has an addiction problem, yet he walks away apparently unscathed and smiling in the new dawn at the end. Is this guy REAL?
I’ve emailed my correspondents with a link to the vpro.nl documentary which you can view online till the end of February 2013 at http://www.uitzendinggemist.nl/afleveringen/1321636. Now what’s needed is a push to finish the book. At present I’m working on the chapter about the film. I see that the film is not so much a narrative – some of the sequences of events are barely plausible – but as a kaleidoscope of prisms (music, character, cinematography) through which the drug scene is depicted. It’s fast-moving and colourful and confusing – it’s no surprise that it divides opinion. I would value your opinion, it’s not too late! If you want to be included in my email list for occasional messages, please contact me through the Contact Me page.