The 1996 film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting remains among the most hilarious and depressing films of all time. Rarely has drug-addled introspection been so equally entertaining and horrifying.
The story both fascinated and repulsed me. There were aspects I very much related to and other parts I recoiled from.
That’s a sign of a very good story. Welsh hasn’t come close to approaching the perfection of his Trainspotting opus and given how good it truly was, hopefully, that’s okay by him. It’s certainly okay by me.
Here are two of my favorite scenes, first from the original and then the 20-years-later sequel. It’s the kind of writing that cracks the whip over the reader’s/viewer’s subconscious as a long-ago-yet-still-with-you voice whispers, “Remind you of someone?”
“No,” you reply. “It doesn’t.”
The voice smirks. You can’t see it but you feel it—the all-too-familiar war waged between pride and contempt, arrogance and humility, life and death.
To choose one also requires that you choose the other.
All that remains is the how and the when.