Happy on our comfy sofa at the relatively new Everyman in Muswell Hill (there are an awful lot of them these days, aren’t there?) we were full of positive expectation when we went to see T2, Day2 after it came out.
There had been a bit of negative bleating, but we weren’t going to let that get in the way of a good time.
And we were not disappointed.
It is a marvelous film, highly entertaining, full of wit and pathos.
To compare it to the original is pointless.
It can’t exist with Trainspotting (T1?). It possibly could stand up on its own, but I am not sure how you would put that to the test. And anyway, it doesn’t have to. Pretty much anyone who has even the slightest inclination to see it will be full converse with the 20 year old shenanigans of Spud, Renton, Sick Boy and Begbie.
Once of the startling things about the original is how basically unlikeable all the leading cast are. And this theme continues in the follow up.
Horrid boys. Selfish, weak, unsympathetic. Devious, mean, violent, criminal and gross.
And somehow we are engaged. It is not that we really care about them, but their story grips us and we go along for the ride.
Not a spoiler, but there are several moments in the film where really really bad things seem destined to happen. And although we are willing that all will be well, the reality is that even if and when something truly ghastly happens, there is a felling of “and so be it.”
There are great moments of levity, jokes even, as well as deep levels of horror.
For the Bowie lovers amongst us (everyone?) an almost imperceptible nod to the great man, subtly and perfectly done, a tiny sigh amongst the mostly charming nostalgia.
Danny Boyle is unquestionably a brilliant filmmaker. Through his lens, through his editing, through his sound design, we are kept enthralled. Strange flash backs, to T1 and before, all sit comfortably within the main narrative.
Personally I found the odd freeze frame uncomfortable and dated, but I am also aware that these are a nod to the original style and a touch ironic, so serve the overall piece well.
Such care is taken on the styling, of the wardrobe (especially the shoes) and the general atmosphere you can smell it. Edinburgh is a bit of a hero too, leading us to remark amongst ourselves “we really ought to go for a long weekend”. Again, an odd take out of something so essentially dark.
Spud gets his place in the sun, (reference daylight hours, but you have to see the film), the prison break story is preposterous, and the bonding of friendship is so twisted as to leave you wondering about what it means to be a mate.
And yet and yet.
And the soundtrack. The wonderful wonderful soundtrack .
I am no longer music obsessive, these days opting more for an “I know what I like” attitude. Unlike my husband, whose forensic detailing of all things bands and gigs is still second to none, who kept swooningly exclaiming “The Young Fathers!”
And yes indeed , this super cool contemporary band served as an excellent updating of what we all know is a seminal score.
A remix of Born Slippy was spot on, as was Lust for Life bringing us right back and forward and back again. Kudos of course to the great Iggy Pop.
There is a scene in a club of fucked up chaos and crowd singing to Radio Gaga. Anthemic and joyous and a slick reminder of the proper ages of our anti heroes.
Sure it was violent, and a bit silly, maudlin and unspeakable, and very nearly sentimental. But that is exactly what it should be.