Are you in or not?, Well, technically if you went to see the movie then you’re in. And the movie is a yin yang of everything actually. It captures what growing up in late adulthood is, in a way. It’s what 20 years will do to you in a blink of an eye. It’s were all the daydreaming went. It was what you wanted your mirror to look like. It was the soundtrack that you grew up with (and then nothing happened). It was the jokes that you kept on telling and the punchline never changed (and in some cases neither did you).
The movie has a depressing feel to it. It also plays heavily on the nostalgia bit. So is the movie depressing because of all the nostalgia? Or, Does all the nostalgia make you depressed?, What comes first?, Does it even matter after 20 years and adulthood has hit you in the face? Have you realized that the unremembered 90’s are the new unremembered 80’s.
The movie, directed by the great Danny Boyle, does a fantastic job (again, what was his last bad movie?) stringing all 4 characters, Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud, back for one last romp. And the whole movie is immersed in remembering what it was like the first go around and it stitches it up perfectly for those that are unable to follow (it’s patronizing in some scenes, or it’s telling you how to feel and at what moment to feel it). The way it was adapted to be in the here and the now of 2017, felt just right and seeing all 4 characters struggling to be themselves in their 40’s and realizing, or trying to figure out, where the hell the life they wanted to choose went.
It offered some great morals in the story about having one more opportunity at trying to redeem their lives once again. Realizing some are unredeemable (Begbie) even if they have a tiny speck of a bright spot, some are junkies and always will be (Sick Boy), the glue that holds them together for better or for worse (Renton) and the most depressing character in the film, the one that manages to rise above all the crap that he’s gone through and was able to plow through it and create something of substance at the end, something that can be passed down to his son (Spud).
The music needed less Young Fathers and more Sleaford Mods and I personally could’ve done without Blondie. I understand Underworld being in there too, but overall the music felt flat. It felt like the life had been sucked out the soundtrack, if that was the idea for it then they succeeded at it. But the one undeniable fact is the greatness that is Iggy Pop (Bowie too).
Which brings me to the points that mattered the most to me in the film:
- Most anti-climatic scene: The needle hitting the record, watching said record spin and after a couple of seconds of vinyl static hearing those first notes of “Lust for Life” and then immediately stopping the song and moving on to the next scene. It made me feel like a junkie waiting for the song to start.
- Saddest moment: Spud’s redemption.
- Funniest moment: 1690 sing-a-long.
- Most memorable quote: “Nostalgia. It’s why you’re here. You’re a tourist in your own youth.” – Sick boy
And with that last quote is how I feel about the movie. It’s the most perfect way in describing what the film is about.