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Film: Ecstasy

Ecstasy (MA)

(Directed by Rob Heydon)

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Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting rocked the world with the uncompromising way it portrayed heroin addicts in squalid Edinburgh. Danny Boyle’s film, based on Welsh’s book, has to be rated as one of the most shocking and memorable films of all time. Equally confrontational, but fortunately not quite as shocking, is Rob Heydon’s film which is based on Welsh’s follow up to Trainspotting. Just as dark and bleakly satirical, Ecstasy is narrated by Woodsy (Billy Boyd) who is living the high life in Edinburgh. He sells the ‘love drug’ and does a little bit of smuggling on the side for boss Solo (Carlo Rota). Every night is party night for Woodsy and his friends. Surrounded by beautiful girls, they dance the night away on a chemically proven heaven.

One day Woodsy wakes up and realises that, at twenty-eight, he is the oldest punter at the night clubs. His two mates have started to prepare for their futures by planning more legitimate pastimes and his new girlfriend Heather (Smallville’s Kristen Kreuk) is making him question the longevity of his career choice. The difficulty is that he is only one part of the drug food chain and the bigger bosses are making it difficult for him to get out. Cracks appear in his idyllic life as the nasty side-effects of selling your soul to drugs and drug dealers emerge.

This edgy film uses cinema-verite techniques that take the audience into Woodsy’s exciting world and ‘ride the contagious, compelling tactile experience’ according to director Rob Heydon. He succeeds in getting the audience to feel how ecstasy affects the mind and also takes them down darker paths when Woodsy starts taking greater risks. What saves the film from becoming too depressing is that it is really a love story – ‘a transformational love story from the love of ecstasy to the ecstasy of love’.

Lezly Herbert

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