Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Medical Classics


BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 30 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1926
  1. Birte Twisselmann, web editor, BMJ
  1. btwisselmann{at}

Trainspotting’s shifting narrative focus and Scottish vernacular, its cast of rather unpalatable characters, and its multitude of themes, from Scottish national identity to drug addiction (almost a metaphor for all that was wrong with Edinburgh in the late 1980s), hailed the arrival of a new talent. The eponymous 1996 film by Danny Boyle distilled these themes and characters and focused on drug addiction.

The film’s main theme is drug addiction in young people. The main narrative is provided by Mark Renton, who seems a more positive character in the film. The ending, when he “chooses life,” followed by the same monologue that opens the film, seems to bear hope. In …

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