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An Analysis of the Opening Scene in Trainspotting

By amamaressa Dec 12, 2013 393 Words
 In Trainspotting (1996), directed by Danny Boyle, the opening scene defines how the rest of the film will be. The film opens with a busy city street, people in the foreground and background, before seeing the ratty shoes of someone sprinting. The camera then switches to two men running, where you can see that they’re being chased by two men in grey uniforms. They’re dropping things while continuously being chased down stairs and down the road. The camera switches before them to their field of vision. One of the running men gets hit by the car and stops in front of the windshield. The other man continues to be chased down the road by the uniformed men. It switches back to the man who was just hit by the car, where you can see him from the point of view of the driver. He smiles and begins to laugh, the display pauses and a text reel reveals that his name is, “Renton.” Displaying this in the opening scene introduces a main character that will assumedly be important throughout the film. There is a voice speaking in the background that is presumably him, since he’s the first character introduced. It switches to a scene of Renton standing by himself in a room without furniture, holding a cigarette in hand. He begins to lean back and looks blissful. He falls back on the ground, eyes closed and unmoving, but still looking blissful. A technique that the filmmaker uses between these two scenes is one with the colors presented in the scenes. When he’s running down the street, everything is grey. When he is standing in the empty room, he’s wearing warm colors and the room behind him is mainly composed of warm colors. The blissful look on his face in contrast to the chaos he’s experiencing in the outside world is contrasted even further by the change in colors. Whatever he’s experiencing in the warm, empty room is presumably where he finds his peace from the outside world. The audio track supports this statement. The audio track consists of a man, presumably Renton, speaking about how he refutes “normal life.” Renton is trying to escape normal life, and what he is savoring in the empty room is his escape from this turmoil that he feels is to “choose life.”

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