I recently re-watched this film after seeing that the second Trainspotting (T2) had come out with an enormous amount of hype and praise. I realized that all the buzz around Trainspotting is well deserved when I watched it again as what a masterpiece of British cinema it is. The opening scene captures you straight away and brings you into the wonderful world of Renton, a heroin addict trying to get his life back on track. The story has an intricate plot involving serious matters of drugs, stealing, pub brawls and a briefcase of money... and the characters are certainly interesting, by the end you'll probably grow to dislike, feel sorry for or even be fond of them. Complimenting the film and it's serious themes is the great witty British humour along with some great dialogue: 'It's shite being Scottish!'. The end scene is also marvelously brilliant, especially when the music for the scene is 'Born Slippy' by NUX which flatters the film immensely. At the end we are left guessing what Renton will do next and this, I suppose, is where T2 comes into play. Overall, the witty dialogue, the brilliant cinematic scenes such as the hilariously vile 'worst toilet in Scotland', the intricate plot and characters really do make Trainspotting a worthwhile watch.
2) A clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange, a well known cult classic, is one of those really stylish, arty films that will make you laugh and at the same time question what it is you just watched. The music in the film (consisting of some classical music and synth) and the hilarious and at times shockingly bizarre scenes of violence made this film rather enjoyable. This film follows the story of the childish yet brutal Alex, a juvenile delinquent who gets up to all sorts with his friends e.g. breaking into houses, beating people up and he goes through a strange journey of experimental treatment to try and cure him of his violence and anti- social behavior. This journey is rather amusing for the audience as we see the entertaining, comical dialogue and visual images of the film and it's characters. Possibly Stanley Kubrick's greatest film, A Clockwork Orange starts of with the well known scene of Alex and his 'droogs' (friends) sat in the Moloko milk bar drinking a nice glass of the old moloko plus (milk). Alex's unblinking gaze into the slow panning camera hooked me and I soon found myself submerged in the distopian England and the satire of the themes the film explored including behavioral conditioning, crime and punishment and the ridiculing of youth culture. This is a film you are unlikely to forget.
Yes, another British film. These films really do make me proud to be British and 'A Fish Called Wanda' is an excellent display of the marvelous British sense of humour, wit and sarcasm. The 4 main characters, two Brits and two Americans all get involved in a plot involving a heist, Kevin Kline brings us an Oscar winning performance as Otto, the obnoxious American who hates the British. His character really is comic brilliance, especially when you contrast it with Cleese's stereotypical stuffy English behaviour and his awkwardly gangly movements. And most of the scenes are hilariously well done, including the scene where Otto gets run over by the cement roller and the scene where the character Ken can't stop stuttering. This film is not your usual double- cross jewel- thief escapade, this is a film of comedy genius, from the same people who wrote Monty Python, this will surely make you laugh. As a matter of fact, someone died because they were laughing at this film so much.
4) A Shallow Grave
Yes, it's another Danny Boyle film but I must say this is his second best film (Trainspotting obviously being his best). 'A Shallow Grave' is a black comedy crime film which is really well shot and the dialogue is cleverly written and acted. We have a brilliant cast who completely portray the characters to near perfection, the plot is also clever with a few twists and turns here and there. This film is about three flat mates who get a fourth flat mate, settling on a man called Hugo which turns out to be a big mistake as he is soon found dead in his bedroom with a suitcase packed full with money under his bed. The trio decide to keep the money and from here we see them spiral into madness and abnormality. This film has the usual thriller cliches such as dark shadowy settings and suspicious detectives but it is not your typical tiring thriller film, it has a fast paced plot, no monotonous sub plotting or unnecessary character development and it has extremely realistic characters. The end of Shallow Grave is also brilliantly and shockingly done. It's a worth while watch.
5) Inglourious Basterds
Lastly, a Tarantino film. I think 'Inglourious Basterds' is possibly his best film (shortly followed by Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill). Inglourious Basterds tells the story of a group of rebels fighting the nazis in France whilst a Jewish woman seeks revenge against the nazis who killed her family. And yes, as you'd expect from a Tarantino film, it has a lot of violence in it but it's the sort of violence that brings you satisfaction, especially when you see Hitler get shot and an evil nazi general suffer as he gets a swastika carved into his head. In this film there are a lot of ingeniously tense, apprehensive scenes, for example, the bar scene which creates so much dramatic tension that you are on the edge of your seat viciously biting your nails as you know this scene probably won't end well and there will most likely be an all-out, exciting yet bloody Tarantino style shoot out. If you want a satisfyingly savage and shockingly powerful film then this is worth a watch.
My Top 5 Films Part 2 coming soon. Hope you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment.