I must be one of the few people who hasn’t seen the first one!! I don’t apologise for that; it was at a time in my life when I spent a lot of time on my soapbox, and drugs was a favoured topic. At least I stood by my beliefs and didn’t go and watch a film about a gang of drug taking losers….
Anyway, I am older, wiser and more broad-minded now, plus I have a great deal of respect for EM, JLM and RC. Also, their interview on Graham Norton sold the film to me!
I wasn’t disappointed overall; it was a very good film and you didn’t need to have seen the first one, due to the cleverly interwoven flashbacks.
It is an interesting take on life and the human condition, and shows how people who start out from the same base can have very different lives, depending on their strength of character.
Renton left Edinburgh and made a life for himself in Amsterdam. He only returned home after a heart attack and his life fell apart. The question is, would only one of those events have brought him back? The sad thing is that he was soon dragged back into the old ways and it kind of flew in the face of his positive attitude at the start of the film.
Sickboy is running his Aunt’s now down and out pub and is engaging in various nefarious activities, as well as having a bad cocaine habit. The film also hints at his impotence, given his ‘girlfriend’, whom he pimps out, he has only slept with once. Is the fact he’s stayed, the reason he hasn’t done anything worthwhile with his life?
Begby is in prison – no surprises there – where he has spent the last two decades festering and plotting his revenge against Renton. Again, this shows the aspect of the human condition lacking the ability to change. The part that annoyed me the most was him, initially, trying to force his son into a life of crime, maybe because he wasn’t smart enough to want better for him. What didn’t ring true for me was that no one came looking for him after he escaped. This wouldn’t happen and his wife’s house would be the first port of call – shame on you, Mr Boyle!
Foe me, it was Spud’s journey that made the film. Suicidal at the beginning because, despite his best efforts to make a life – job, wife, son – he lost it all because, underneath it all, he is still a junkie. It was Renton’s return that literally saved Spud’s life and his advice to ‘obsess’ about something else, which got him off heroin. With Sickboy’s girlfriend, Veronica’s, encouragement too, he wrote down his stories from their life together. At the end, it hinted at a rosy future for Spud and a positive reconciliation with the love of his life.
The film implies that there is no escaping where you come from, no matter how hard you try, which I disagree with.
Aside from the prison break incident, the only other thing ‘glossed’ over was the loss of the money (again) or weren’t they aware of it?
I did thoroughly enjoy the film and it is certainly left open for a 3rd instalment.
As a writer, this film highlighted the need to ensure your story is believable and has no unresolved issues which could leave your reader dissatisfied.