Trainspotting 2. The lucrative sequel.
I watched it at the weekend in a small ‘indie’ cinema in the next village to where I live. The first movie – a seminal work by all involved – was excellent. It described perfectly for me how opiate addiction felt. OK, so it blurred the lines on the acquaintances involved in a heroin habit (heavy drug use brings few friends), but by and large the overarching chaos was well represented. I enjoyed the first movie. I hoped the second would mirror my own change over the past twenty years. I wanted it to hold my hand.
Seeing any film about drug use in a small cinema in a middle-class area is a big mistake. I’m guessing, like I shouted at my partner half way through the film, I was the only opiate abuser in the whole cinema. They were so disconnected from the film and the sheer horror of what they were laughing at that the whole thing was just reduced to an exercise in middle-aged chic. There were guffaws when ‘Spud’ tries to kill himself because he’s just so sick of his shitty life and his unbreakable addiction. Hilarious… Thigh slapping from some people as they howled. Had they come to the wrong movie? Had I?
I left at the end feeling sorry for the characters – all of them – and for the twenty years I’ve wasted since the first years I wasted; lots of waste in my life. The film was ok, not accurate, but it left me feeling the sort of empathy with the characters that I had twenty years ago. We were all older, alive, and still grappling with the consequences of actions we’d taken back when Britpop had, thankfully, died. I expected a theatre full of fellow travellers on the path, but all I got were sneering voyeurs. Being poor, addicted, hopeless, is not something to be crammed into a fishbowl and pointed at, yet an entire audience managed to do just that.
I got drunk afterwards. And I tried hard to believe this is where my tie to the movie franchise ended. There will be no Trainspotting 3 for me in any form – empathetic, or otherwise.