With the recent release of T2: Trainspotting in the U.K. I got to thinking again about how much I’m both excited, and terrified, about the prospect of a sequel, especially 20 years later.
Full disclosure: I read the sequel novel, Porno about 10 years ago, and to say I was not impressed is to put it really mild. God, that book was terrible and a waste of a follow-up. So when I heard that not only was there going to be a movie, but that if anything, it was going to barely reference the novel, I felt relief.
But there was something still eating away at me; I still didn’t really want a sequel to one of my favorite films of all time. I loved the characters, yes even Begbie, and I did want to know what happened. But still…
Of course the easy answer was that the ending to Trainspotting was just the perfect note to end the film on.
Renton is a character that goes through the perfect arc for himself. In the opening, Renton dismisses the idea of “Choose Life” and conform to the foundations of society. Well, because of the heroin.
Let me get to the point: The ending is such a satisfying conclusion because of the fact that Renton was put through such hell during the film. I mean the second half obviously, when he kicked his habit and actually started living a life for himself.
Then Begbie and Sick Boy show up and mess it all up for him.
Renton was in a real tight spot, and finally had enough to the point that he straight up stole 16,000 pounds. Any one of us could only wish we had that kind of reckless courage.
But what brought tears of joy when I saw the film the first time was this line:
“So why’d I do it? I could offer a million answers, all false. The truth is that I’m a bad person. But that’s going to change…”
To fully recognize that you’re a “bad person” when you so clearly are, is such an overwhelming positive realization, that you can help but smile, at least, at such self discovery. I applauded in my room, and I was so content.
I’m not gonna lie, I always caught myself wondering what happened to the guys; what became of them. I especially thought of Renton and hoped that he chose life, and settled down to a blissful life. That was the beauty of the ending: the possibility of hope to a character that more than earned his happiness.
That sums up why, ultimately, I am worried about T2: Trainspotting. The ambiguity will be gone, and I will find out what happened to them. I guess I don’t want the ending negated because the filmmakers couldn’t think of a decent fucking story. I hope that isn’t the case, but there’s only one way to find out.