Saturday, April 7, 2012

how is maleness represented in 90's british films brassed off full monty and trainspotting

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For this essay I shall be discussing the representations of various male characters that play lead roles in the above films, this will enable me to conclude how maleness is represented in 0’s British Films.


To define the film Trainspotting, critics have described it as the “British Film that defines the 0’s”; as the film portrays the harsh but true lives of heroin addicts reflecting realism, it focuses on the highs and lows of the junkie culture. The lead roles played by Ewan McGregor (Renton), Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy), Ewen Breminer (Spud), Robert Carlyle (Begbie) & Kevin McKidd (Tommy) portrays the troubles of 5 childhood friends who battle their addiction to drugs and alcohol. Danny Boyle the director represents the characters in different depths; Mark Renton is seen as the main focus of the film. All the other characters are in essence different sides of Rentons personality. he often narrates most of the scenes as they happen and his battle to choose between self-destruction and life portrays his strong will power. The scene where Renton looses a fix down the toilet and naturally dives into it shows how desperate heroin addicts can get and to what extent they will go, the way that Renton sees it in his eyes is represented as a fantasy world under the sea this shows the serene hallucination of a typical junkie. There is a lot of symbolism, both with regards of the heroin addiction, and with regards to the current state of Scottish society particularly from Renton’s character who is represented as a nationalist “its shite being Scottish, scum of the earth”, this reflects how the underclass feel when they are up against the British. After meeting a woman in a nightclub and going back to her house only to find out in the morning that her housemates are actually in fact her parents and that Diane the woman is a 15-year-old schoolgirl is the time when Renton starts to get his life back in order, this is only a third of the hilarious tangent story lines that Danny Boyle has created to represent the comical side of the drug addiction, the imagery that director Danny Boyle uses to convey the sense of dread and hopelessness surrounding Rentons prolonged heroin abuse is extremely realistic particularly in the cold turkey scene when his parents lock him in his room to dry out, his withdrawal is a hideous combination of hallucinations, cold sweats, craving and finally, screaming, this represents the lowest of the lows of being a heroin addict.


Sick Boy is another case entirely. Being on heroin is his excuse for acting in a criminal manner, stealing money, books, television sets. Sick Boy also justifies life with his theory that everything relates in some way to the career of Sean Connery. Sick Boy has no morals either. He even steals Rentons television and has the gall to ask about Rentons passport and how much money he could get for it on the black market. This represents the nasty side of living the life of a junkie especially when the five of them have been brought together by their addiction but not actually supporting one another.


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Begbie is a secretly bent psychopathic that erupts in abrupt violent acts. He claims he would never stoop so low to ‘shoot’ smack but he is represented as a heavy drinker and smoker.


Spud (Ewan Bremner) is a goofy, gangly guy who takes speed before a job interview to insure that his behavior will not get him hired. deeper sensitivity that makes the audience feel pity for him


Tommy (Kevin McKidd) is the only straightlaced member of the troupe who doesnt do drugs, lie or steal but eventually succumbs to the needle when his girlfriend dumps him and his friends refuse to sympathize with his problems. The scene where he tries to get his friends to go on a nature hike is especially funny.





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