Trainspotting and Angels' Share comparison Opening sequence: Men and Women: In Trainspotting men are represented as the stereotypical man, they are seen in the pub and playing football. Unlike the women, they are never seen picking up a child. However in Angels' Share the men are a bit different. Robbie is seen holding his son various times, although there is still the very masculine males, like Leoni's dad who threatens Robbie. Women in both of the films are always with the children, during Trainspotting when they're playing football the women are on the sideline shouting support and holding the kids. Leoni is barely ever seen without Luke. It shows the stereotypical view of what women should do. Scotland and Scottishness: As Angels Share opens, we are introduced to Albert. Albert shows one of the many Scottish
Stereotypes, by getting drunk and causing trouble with Authority. In Angels Share, there is an example of a stereotypical Scotsmen of being rebellious and angry. This is shown through Rhinos character when he is confronted about what he did. He defaced a statue by wrapping a Scottish Flag around it and his reaction is an attempt at trying not to laugh. As Train Spotting opens we are abruptly introduced to two characters. Renton and Spud. Like Angels Share, Trainspotting also shows the Scottish Characters getting in trouble with Authority. Rentons monologue about life is challenging their Scottish Stereotype, this is because he is talking about what everyone else goes for, and how it should be but he does the complete opposite, getting high and getting in trouble with the law. Authority and law and order: Albert is shown as bottom end of the social class by his clothes, body language and dialect. Rebellious against authority. Authority is taken as a joke when Rhino is trying not to laugh in the court house.
Irony is used when Renton talks about what to choose in life, as hes running away from security after shoplifting. Family: The characters in Angels share and Trainspotting are both at very low class, and dont have much money. In Trainspotting there is lack of family of the characters shown, showing lack of guidance, however eventually Renton's parents help him out and lock him in his room to get him clean from heroin. In Angels share the characters are shown at the bottom of the social class, this is shown from their sociolect and their clothes. Narrative dilemmas of the Protagonist: The first time we see Renton is when he is running away from the authority, so it seems to shows that he has a lack of opportunities for things like job. Therefore, he has no choice but to commit crimes and break laws to get by. Robbie is in a similar situation, he lives in a poor area and is surrounded by crime, so he
was destined to be a criminal. Also, he claims that his scar on his face restricts him from getting a job, but that could just be blaming his failure on something else. Both films are set in poor parts of Scotland, so they both have limited opportunities to better themselves. Identification: There is a sense of sympathy with Renton, this is achieved by him being portrayed as the most normal of the group and not fitting in with the rest. This is also achieved with Robbie, as to the audience you can see that Robbie is being dragged down by his friend group. When Renton steals the money you are rooting for him because you can identify with the fact that he wants to leave Begbie and Sick boy behind. Sick boy also has sly motivations so he is less relatable and frowned upon. Messages and Values: The initial messages and values of Trainspotting and Angels share are that to better yourself as a person, you need to do bad. This was shown by the characters stealing to get money. This could be because of their situation and limits in ability to get jobs. Choose the better things in life, dont make it difficult?
Themes and Belonging: At the start of both Trainspotting and Angels share, the theme of Conflict Authority is being shown. We are introduced to Renton and Spud being chased by two Security guards after stealing something from a shop. Then in Angels Share we are introduced to each of our characters in the court house, being sentenced to Community Payback for what theyve done. As well as Conflict Authority, we are also introduced to the theme of Substance Abuse in both films. We are shown Albert drunk on the platform of a train station, being rather reckless. Then in Trainspotting, we are introduced to our characters all injecting themselves with heroin and getting high off it. Another theme both of these films introduce is the generic Scottish Stereotype. Albert is drunk and being rowdy and getting in trouble and then Trainspotting is showing us Renton and Spud being in trouble with authority and causing a mishap. Boarders and Belongings to a lot of different things are introduced also. The idea of belonging to a group of friends. In trainspotting it is showing the whole group in one shot
at a low angle, possibly showing a strong bond between them. Then in Angels share the friend group are introduced in separate shots, showing the audience that they are not entirely close to each other and that they are each of their own different people. Middle sequence Within trainspotting the middle sequence the film starts to turn more surrealist, the camera starts showing things that aren't really there, like when he goes down the toilet. Things start to be more exaggerated to make everything more extreme. However with angels' share the film is very much realist and there are no narrative changes during the whole movie. However, the similarities are that they both aren't in any better of a situation, in fact they seem to be worse. Especially Renton, as he ends up in the worst toilet in Scotland which just shows his luck. Micro features are used in the middle of trainspotting when Tommy is shown to be distanced from Renton and the world, stuck in his house like he has been outcast for having aids and being a junkie. This effect is achieved through microfeatures as you can see Renton looking through the window, the window is dirty and hard to see through which shows the separation between them and shows Tommy as trapped. Development in friendship group - Middle sequence.
Friendship between Renton and Tommy grows when Renton visits Tommy and gives him money. Friendship is stronger between them all (Renton, Begbie, Spud and Sickboy) when they do the drug deal and get money together. They all belong together as a group. The group bonds through their drug use, and spend the most time together when they're doing heroin. This drug use gives each character a sense of belonging. However towards the middle sequence of the film, this hobby isn't a strong enough common ground for the friendship to stick. Renton decides to move to London, running away from his friends, to try and better his life. In Angel's share, the friendship between Robbie and Harry devolps throughout the film as Harry helps Robbie get his life back on track. This happens when they go to the distillary together and Robbie discovers his talent and potential to be working on whiskey. The rest of the group also bond over Robbie's new talent, making them grow closer. This is necessary to the plot as if they weren't close when they make the plan for the whisky heist, it would be harder to work together to do it. Microfeatures are used in Angels Share when they are playing pool and the thugs come in and try to beat up Robbie, there is a close up on Rhino swinging the bat around to defend which shows there is a sense of friendship and loyalty which allows Robbie to get away. These themes are developed throughout both movies in similar ways.
Outside forces test all of them. During trainspotting, Tommy takes the group to the countryside in Scotland and talks about how great Scotland is, but then Renton completely shuts him down by trash talking what it means to be Scottish. Here's the link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1CB-D1TtXc Ewan Mcgregor on being Scottish www.youtube.com In Angel's Share, instead of being negative towards Scotland, the group are discovering their culture. This is shown through Albert discovering Edinburgh Castle for the first time and Robbie and the group trying Whiskey for the first time (Their national drink). As well as this, the conflict with authority gets worse on the part of Renton and Spud, they steal something and Spud gets put into jail. However, in Angel's Share, they are getting less in trouble as the movie goes on. Especially Robbie, he was threatened with a prison sentence causing him to be super cautious with his actions. The borders which the characters might have to negotiate or overcome, are most likely family and friendship. In Angels' Share, Robbie is faced by his family. Leonie's father is threatening him by sending him down to London away from his wife and new born child. Robbie
then has to make a decision to himself on whether he stays, and goes against what he says, or goes, and do what he wants. In Trainspotting, the characters are faced with their belonging to the friendship group. Different things throughout the film test their friendship. Things like the loss of one of them, or the loss of a neglected child. The audience can see the bond between the characters slowly deteriorating. Final sequence Renton doesn't necessarily resolve his issues, but he does end up bettering himself. Yet he does commit a crime again to help better himself. Just like the beginning of the film, he's still committing crimes. However, Robbie does end up on bettering himself for the sake of his family, that's what makes him change his ways. That's the main difference between the two main characters, even though they both commit a crime, Robbie does it for a better more selfless reason. Throughout both films 'Boarders and Belonging' in British Identity and belonging to a specific region is shown in different lights. Firstly, in Angels Share they are proud to be Scottish. They
are doing very "Scottishy" things, these consists of drinking whisky and attending an historical whisky auction and even the idea of them wearing kilts. To me, this shows us that the characters are proud to be Scottish. Trainspotting shows us another side of this. By the end of the film all the characters had left Scotland for a "new" start. Possibly showing us that there is not much chance of things going well for them in Scotland. The film ends with Renton reciting the monologue he spoke at the start of the film, however this time it's in London. This supports the idea that they think there is more going for them in London rather then Scotland. This also helps shows a possible distaste they have for Scotland. Messages and values of these films? - Final sequence. A message that's given at the end of trainspotting is that you may have to do bad to change your life and make it good. This was shown by Renton stealing the money from the drug deal. He did this with good intentions, to further his life. Added with the face that he leaves some behind for Spud. Another message the
film connotes is that no matter how much you try to disobey authority and make your own path, you'll eventually end up aspiring to the same materialistic things the rest of the world does. As this is the way things work these days, and it's unavoidable. This is shown as Renton repeats his 'choose life' speech, but is shown to be wearing a suit and has a proper job, therefore agreeing with the statement rather that rebelling against it like at the start of the film. In angel's share a message that comes across is to not judge a book by it's cover. By the end of the film Robbie's got a proper, well paid job, a family, and a future. This shows how even though he got off to a bad start, his dedication and effort put in paid off. A value shown in the film is that family is important, and should come first. Robbie's determination to stick with his family means that he eventually gets his wish. This is another message that hard work pays off. If you make the effort, you will eventually get to where you want to be. We feel a sense of identification with Renton as he is the most sane person in the group,
and he is actively making an effort to improve his life by getting a job. When Renton in the final scene steals the money from his "friends" most of the audience are probably rooting for him as they dislike Begbie and want Renton to get away from him as he is holding him back. People would however normally feel bad for Spud as he is innocent and harmless. We can also identify with Robbie as he is stuck in a bad situation and he just wants to start a new life with his wife and child, and are happy for him when things go his way and he has a car and can leave with his wife. Iconic scenes - Trainspotting Iconic scenes - Angels' Share
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