The lately lamented Lou Reed is the songster of Perfect Day, on which Trainspotting the film pivots: it ruins the film and it makes it, depends how you are reading it. To play Perfect Day when a young man is in a dangerous overdose is perverse and cruel. That’s if you are letting the on-screen narrative dominate what’s happening. On the other hand, if you allow the mood of the music to dominate, it becomes clearer: oblivion is a perfect day for a junkie who finds everyday life unbearably overpowering. And the heroin itself issues its own warning: ‘You shall reap just as you sow’. It’s all there. Thanks to Lou Reed for the song, and thanks to Danny Boyle for his genius and courage in making it the soundtrack for the overdose scene. And by the way, did you notice that the needle goes into Renton’s arm at exactly the mid-point in the running time of the film? Only geeks like me notice that sort of thing. Andrew MacDonald (producer) tells me it wasn’t planned that way.
More on this in the last chapter I have to finish, and I’m working on it now: Trainspotting the film.