CINÉMONDAYS WITH HARDIK
Dir. Danny Boyle
After a busy, busy, busy week, I pulled myself in for a movie with friends. Because I thought that was the kind of relief I needed. We had yet to decide, which movie. “I am not drunk enough, or at all, to watch Power Rangers,” one said. “That is quite fair,” I said, also because I didn’t commute all the way from Ossining to Union Square to watch Power Rangers of all movies. Before others could open their mouths to decide a movie I’d feel forced to watch, I said, “How about T2 Trainspotting?” “Let’s do it.”
So, let’s do it:
T2 Trainspotting is director Danny Boyle’s sequel to his Trainspotting (the same movie that enjoys its 10th rank on BFI’s list of Top 100 British films of all time, and the same movie that features the infamous, gross ‘worst toilet in Scotland’ scene with Ewan McGregor). Trainspotting was based on Irvine Welsh’s book of the same name and had a point, a message to convey. With the sequel, Boyle and his team take liberty to loosely base its content on Welsh’s books, Trainspotting and Porno, and had me wondering: What’s the point of this?
When I got out of the theater, I thought I had the answer: “This sequel is as if Boyle’s way of suggesting, ‘Hey, you had fun with us last time, didn’t you? Come, enjoy a ride with us, 20 years later, because why not!’” But it’s just half of the answer, really.
Sequels are like star-kids: both are compared to their parent, and most of the time they fail.
As for if you compare T2 Trainspotting with its parent, it fails, which is not to say it’s not good; in fact, it’s quite good. But… is it fair to compare? Or is it even possible to not compare?
I tried to look deeper for the answer and could only assume/interpret that the point of T2 lies in this: at the end of the day, an author has the authority. In the movie, for instance, a character literally becomes a writer and determines others’ fates. Boyle shows his authority by pulling the audience in, into a movie that has less of a point –– if, any, at all –– than its parent movie had, and the audiences walk out not (quite) disappointed.
Boyle plays with how much he wants his sequel film to do with Welsh’s sequel book, becoming more of an author with the sequel film than he was with the parent film. Of course, Boyle’s authority sprouts from the original that pulled viewers into giving the sequel a chance. But then if this Boyle’s show of authority, I am wondering what does this say about the viewers (consumers) and their sentimentality?
That I am writing about Boyle’s work should say that his work had enough power to make me wonder, and I won’t lie, I had somewhat pleasure in watching these characters 20 years later. Whether Boyle holds authority here, you decide…
~ Hardik Yadav