A friend of mine shared this this morning
She said it was for anyone who had the poster on their wall, obsessively played the soundtrack on their CD player and “lived and breathed this film”. And that was me. I loved the original Trainspotting. It was probably the first film with truly adult themes, that I found and made my own. And I think a lot of my generation felt the same. We were obsessed. At the beauty and the horror. Because after all, what’s more horrifying than real life?
But that was 20 years ago. A long time past. I haven’t watched, or even thought about Trainspotting in years. In fact I think the last time it even crossed my mind, was on hearing that Danny Boyle was directing the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. A fleeting “wasn’t he the guy that directed Trainspotting” moment and I moved on. Because Trainspotting and everything about it lived in the past. My past.
So I was really thrown, when I found they’d made a sequel. A real sequel, with the same cast, playing the same characters dealing with real 21st Century shit, the way the real people do. 20 years on in their lives. I can’t say I was happy or sad or excited or reviled. Thrown really was the best way to describe it. And that surprised me.
Part of me really, really wants to see this film. I watched the trailer and it really does look like it’ll break you and entertain you in equal measure, as much as the first ever did. But part of me really, really doesn’t. That part of me just wants to believe Renton got away and lived happily ever after. I know life doesn’t happen like that, we never truly get to out run our past, but that part of me, that 17 year old, 18 year old part of me, who was innocent and naive and hopeful, she still wants to believe we can break away and start again. This film meant so much to me at the time. It broke my heart and gave me hope. Hope in a time when things were bad in my own life. Not as bad as those depicted in the dirty streets of Glasgow I’ll grant you, but bad enough that I wanted to get away. Far away.
And I almost want to protect her naivety. Let her live in blissful ignorance. That the happy ending is all it was and all it takes. I want to shout at the filmmakers “You pulled me in with my suspension of disbelief long enough to care about these characters. To care that good stuff happened to them. So why are you now trying to show me that actually life happened to them? I don’t want to see Cinderella arguing with Prince Charming or having to take a crap with the door open because the kids are screaming at her. I can see that in real life ‘ta very much!”
Or maybe it’s this quote from Robert Carlyle
â€œI tell you, this film is going to be quite emotional for people. Because the film sort of tells you to think about yourself. You are going to be thinking: â€˜Fuck. What have I done with my life?â€™â€
Robert Carlyle, NME
And maybe I’m just too scared of what the answer might be.