John Hodge's screenplay takes Irvine Welsh's episodic novel and focuses it on junkie Renton (Ewan McGregor)'s experiences on and off heroin in Edinburgh and London. But this isn't British grit and grim realism. It's exuberant, sometimes surreal (like the dive into the worst toilet in Scotland) and never judgemental. Boyle's directorial wizardry brings out the best in many of his actors, most especially Robert Carlyle as the psychopathic Begbie. Iconic.
“These characters are funny, sharp, well-played and fiercely memorable...cheerfully outrageous.”