Choose Life. That is the tag line from the 90’s movie Trainspotting. I might have been a little young when that movie came out, but trust me, I had already read the book. I don’t know what it was for me, but at the ripe old age of 13, I had fallen in love with Irvine Welsh’s novel. The subject matter of the novel and movie was maybe a bit over my head at the time, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate it for many different reasons. I’m writing this, as I wait in anticipation for the second installment of the movie series. Which is to be loosely based on the sequel novel written by Welsh titled, “Porno”.
Welsh doesn’t mince words, and writes about the seedy world of drug addicted Edinburgh. The second movie, however, is not going to be called Porno, but simply T2. I suspect that this title will go down easier for some viewers. But in all honesty, if you’re watching a movie based on a Welsh novel, a title like Porno is not going to turn you off. Come on, you remember this scene, don’t you? Such an amazing visual.
I saw the trailer for T2 yesterday, which is kind of fitting since I purchased one of Welsh’s latest novels yesterday. I’m a bit of a fan girl. As I mentioned, I’ve been reading Welsh since I was quite young. I had a pretty simple up bringing. Reading Welsh allowed me to explore a different world than the one I knew. It gave me an appreciation for what I had, but it also opened up a curiosity in me. Why would anyone do that to themselves? At the time, I looked at it in quite a black and white way. Drugs are bad, and therefore you don’t do them. I wonder if this partially kept me on the straight and narrow?
What I learned later in life, though, is that we all have our vices. But it doesn’t have to be drugs. And it certainly doesn’t have to be something as extreme as heroin. But the message was still clear from that novel. You want to choose life. My reasons for wanting to choose life are different than the characters in the novel, but we all want the same thing in the end, I suspect. While I wouldn’t say that any of Welsh’s novels are a beacon of hope for the future, there is an interesting theme about T2: the past. We all try to run from it, or pretend like it didn’t happen. Or even present a different image of what happened. But we can’t. The past is part of us all and we need to come to terms with it.
The idea that the characters from the original movie are getting a second shot is an interesting concept as Welsh’s novels are a consistent baseline of darkness. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a criticism. And maybe this movie diverges enough from the novel that it will show some type of resolution from the characters. But I’m not really sure that I want it to. I loved the movie version of Trainspotting. Not as much as I loved the novel, but they both have a place in my heart. I hope that T2 has enough of Porno in it to allow the true fans to see it come to life. I think this movie will give fans what they’ve been waiting for. But also give us a little hope that there might be another novel or another movie. Skagboys, anyone?
The movie, however, is set in present day time as opposed to the early 2000s when the novel was actually written. There was no Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, but these pop culture references are included. Maybe its a way to demonstrate that our options may change, but the end result is always going to be the same.