It came as a surprise to me that the film was an adaptation. Everything in it is so complete the notion of all of these to have been written, have existed as mere words (slight intended) seems to me both amazing and disappointing. In hindsight, I guess the narrator should have been my first clue (like The Book Thief, the Twilight series, …) that there was a ‘living’ book—in flesh and blood—behind the making of the film. Anyway, my tragic oversight aside, I need to read Irvine Walsh first before I can venture to express a judgement in either’s favour. However, since the film is excellent as it is, I allow myself a scaling down of principles (or ‘reviewing’ etiquette) and ignore the looming aspect of the book, poised challengingly in the credit roll.
I had watched Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire first,and after Trainspotting, I have come to this stunning but deprecatory conclusion: the motif running full-scale in both movies is ordure. And not mere snide, allusive references, but wallowing in and swallowing ample quantities of the P matter. Now, frivolities aside, coming to the heart of my purpose, the story is as simple as it goes—a drug addict wants to come out of the vicious circle of drugs and (“so-called”) friends into ‘normal’ life. The narration, the acting, the semi-drugged (almost fantastic) scenes, the adorable Scottish accent, the ironic music, and the dialogues, I loved it all. Still, I give it only 4 out of 5, the minus 1 for the highly subjective reasons below:
- You can understand, defend and really like the anti-hero, Fenton. Rule of sacred ambiguous response (affinity-cum-repulsion) busted.
- Though the treatment is cynical, bordering on being frivolous, the plot events have tragic, gloomy overtones. Formula that cynicism is to be exercised on frivolity and immoderation (and not the reverse) violated.
- The baby dies. Not particularly taboo but the idea of a child becoming a metaphor or symbol that sparks something disorderly amidst all the ‘ordered chaos’ in their lives.