Shallow Grave marked the film debut of Scottish director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), actor Ewan McGregor, and scriptwriter John Hodge -- all of whom would reunite for Trainspotting in 1996. Similar in tone to Trainspotting, Shallow Grave is a dark, hip, Generation X comedy about a trio of Edinburgh roommates whose narcissistic greed fuels murder and betrayal.
Boisterous journalist Alex (Ewan McGregor), flirtatious doctor Juliet (Kerry Fox), and meek accountant David (Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who) possess very different personalities, but the roommates are bonded in mutual, self-absorbed cynicism. Seeking a fourth boarder to share the rent for their stylish flat, they cruelly dismiss several candidates before settling on Hugo (Keith Allen), whose air of detachment meets the roommates' standard of coolness. Hugo's reserve masks criminal involvement, however, as the roommates discover when they find him dead in bed from a drug overdose, with a valise containing enormous amounts of cash. Their nascent greed overwhelms them, and the trio dismembers and buries Hugo, stealing his money. Only David, who understands finance, seems to realize that someone's eventually going to seek out such a large sum.
Directed by Danny Boyle, 1994, 92 min., rated R.
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