Monday, 30 January 2017
T2: Trainspotting - A Brutally Beautiful Depiction of Our Times! *Spoiler Free*
So last night I went to the cinema to see the eagerly anticipated, for twenty years in fact, sequel to one of the most culturally important films of our times. And a Scottish indie flick at that! Of course I'm talking about Trainspotting 2....although the T2 is giving me mixed feels, hahahaha. Terminator yo!!
Seeing Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie, back together again, with their colourful array of supporting characters in the mad world around them...it was pretty fucking special! This is absolutely going to raise major feels and nostalgia for so many people and that is a beautiful, albeit fucked up (haha) thing!
Trainspotting came out in 1996 when I was 16/17 and in 5th year at school. It was during the height of Britpop and the time where my friends and I would spend every weekend in the pub. There are so many songs that as soon I hear them, I am immediately transported back to that time. One such song in particular is Underworld's Born Slippy. I think out of all the songs on the Trainspotting soundtrack, that let's face it, was so popular you'd be lucky to find a single one of your mates that didn't own it at the time (within the 16-27 age group at least), that Born Slippy is definitely the definitive Trainspotting track for me. Total summer of '96 tune!
It's weird, this was a total time of rock and roll, where the politics of the UK drastically changed with New Labour, and the future actually looked kinda bright! (Now it's just VERY orange! Sorry, couldn't resist, haha!) I think that is definitely reflected in the nostalgia that people feel towards the film and of the Britpop era in general. Of course, everything soon went downhill in the world of UK politics not too long afterwards....into the shit encrusted, piss soaked, vomit splattered, cum percolated toilet of misery and despair that we know today. The one that the people of Scotland are desperately trying to climb their way out of! Let's face it, Scotland has always been shat on, but it is now worse than ever with us being dragged out the EU despite voting to remain. Renton's speech in Trainspotting is one of the truest things ever said on film, and I won't even attempt to pretend that I haven't quoted the fuck out of it, haha!
What made Trainspotting 2 particularly important and appealing to me was the fact that twenty years have passed. Look at what Scotland has been through as a country! I genuinely think that T2 is the perfect representation of this. Of the referendum, of Brexit. Of the shit storm that we have been continually stuck in for the past twenty years....despite trying to move forward! This basically sums up our protagonist's lives!
I won't even lie, through a large part of Trainspotting 2, I felt nothing but patriotic pride. We have a story about addicts, and truly deplorable people, but we also have a story of friendship and hope! People that have been pushed into a truly horrific situation....something that Scotland as a whole has been fighting against and is trying to move forward from. T2 is a statement against our times. We try to move forward, to progress. But there is always something in our way. For our characters, it is drug addiction. Individuals trying to change their paths....change the story...choosing life! I don't think we see this in anyone more than we do Spud. Sweet lovely Spud. Spud represents the character that is even more desperate for change....for progress. His story so far has been written, but he has an almost childlike enthusiasm and a sense of self that needs to be further explored. Like Scotland, Spud's story is far from over.
I won't even lie, I had total teenage pangs of 'eeeeeee' for Jonny Lee Miller and Ewan MacGregor, both of whom I adored back in the day. With Jonny Lee Miller as well, there is a sad sense of melancholy when I remember this German guy I met on my Berlin exchange who was so like Miller! Steve Schliemann. I approached him and asked him to dance with me in German when I spotted him at the school dance. I was totally in love with Trainspotting and Hackers at the time. We kept in contact but then a year later, his dad messaged me to tell me that he had killed himself. This has always stuck with me and made me sad. Especially now, 19 years later....he was just a fucking kid!
These memories though; the nostalgia, the love of my Germans...we might be 20 years on, but I genuinely believe that Scotland still feels the same! The level of love in T2 for Scotland and the EU, it is something beautiful. This is clearly a political film. But Trainspotting was always a political film! And at the end of the day, all you need to do is follow all these guys on Twitter for two seconds and you realise they stand up against the bullshit that we are dragged into as a country!
Visually and story wise, this is a wonderful follow-up to a cult classic. The only thing that makes it second best I would say is the soundtrack. But that is PURELY for the nostalgic reason such as I stated above. This was the music of our time. Our youth! In 1996, it all gelled together so perfectly well. In 2016, it's still almost pretty fucking perfect! And that is going on one viewing. I already want to watch it again and so that says a lot.
To my American friends, I hope I've not given away any spoilers....this is more of a political rant to be fair....which you probably kinda expected from me, haha. All I can say; is don't judge a book by its cover.....unless it is a sexist, misogynistic, racist, narcissistic prick of a book. Then you can judge it all you fucking like!