Tuesday, 11 July 2017

My Oppinion on the Trainspotting 2 Choose Life speach.

So I just watched Trainspotting 2, now the original film came out when I was a teenager and was incredibly popular and I remember there being all kinds of discussions about it both amongst friends but also in the media. This sequel has come around twenty years latter and is also set twenty years latter so is it as good as the original? Well I am not sure if it is as good but it is certainly in my oppinion a darn good film and it is also a brilliant sort of love note to the original movie, they would work amazingly as a double feature.

Now I find that the original Trainspotting is brilliantly summed up by its Choose Life speach deliverd by the character of Renton (Ewan McGregor)
  
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.

Choose your future.

Choose life.

Now for anyone who has seen TrainSpotting they will know that the above quote is followed by Renton saying he chose not to choose life he chose something else, that something else being a herrion addiction. The thing is though the above speach spoke to me, it didnt make me want to go try and be an addict or anything stupid like that but it made me question the way in which the mass majority of people do the same things, they aim for the same goals and find meaning in the same ways, it made me ask do I really want to choose all of those things? The speach to me at least highlights some of the worst aspects of mankind in this country at the time that film was released, the irony is the fact that a junky can look at the way things are, that he can see how screwed up they are and can decided that he doesnt want to choose this he wants to choose something else. I would argue that he saw how screwed up things were and decided he didnt want to be a part of it all, that following the above template was in fact worse than just shooting up. Now I dont agree with the character dont get me wrong but I do think a lot of the critical elements of the speach ring very true and show just how shallow the mass majority of people are. It was an amazing movie moment and it was incredibly quotable both in parts and whole.

So with Trainspotting 2 being a follow up to the original, and with it showing how the characters involved have both changed and grown but also showing how they now cope with the world around  them you might ask if Renton has any simmilar words of wisdom in the sequel and if so what are they? Well here they are


Choose designer lingerie, in the vain hope of kicking some life back into a dead relationship. Choose handbags, choose high-heeled shoes, cashmere and silk, to make yourself feel what passes for happy. Choose an iPhone made in China by a woman who jumped out of a window and stick it in the pocket of your jacket fresh from a South-Asian firetrap. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand others ways to spew your bile across people you've never met. Choose updating your profile, tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don't look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging, from your first wank till your last breath; human interaction reduced to nothing more than data. Choose ten thing you never knew about celebrities who've had surgery. Choose screaming about abortion, choose rape jokes, slut-shaming, revenge porn and an endless tide of depressing misogyny. Choose 9/11 never happened, and if it did, it was the Jews. Choose a zero-hour contract and a two hour journey to work, and choose the same for your kids, only worse, and maybe tell yourself that it's better that they never happened. And then sit back and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody's​ fucking kitchen. Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing you'd done it all differently. Choose never learning from your own mistakes. Choose watching history repeat itself. Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get, rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment and choose losing the ones you love then as they​ fall from view, a piece of you dies with them until you can see​ that one day in the future, piece by piece they will​ be all gone and there will be nothing left of you to call alive or dead. Choose your future, Veronica. Choose life

I have seen other people criticse the above speach and complain that its too long, that it tries to be too clever, that it over explains itself but I see it in a very diffrent light. You need to remember that the original speach in the films story at least is what Renton came up with while a relativly young man with a crippling addiction to drugs, it was deliverd in a sort of monolog format so there was no clear view of who he was really saying it to it was played as if the character was saying it to the audience as a way to explain his outlook on life. In Trainspotting 2 the new speach is said directly to another character to a female character Renton is intrested in to at least some degree, it is also said to a twenty year old wiser more informed person, someone who has seen and experianced diffrent things, someone who has reached a point in there life where some people ask a lot more questions. I see this speach as a massive pub rant, its everything Renton has ponderd and thought about for a long time pushed out partly as a sort of attempt to woo the person he is talking to but also as an outpouring of emotions such as frustration and anger. Renton is older more cynical and is talking to someone younger who to at least some degree he feels he is trying to save, he is trying to impart all of the knowledge he has gained on to her, trying to tell her not to repeat either his mistakes or the mistakes of those around her, those who have already taken the roads she might soon walk. I think most of us have been in this position venting our own frustrations with the world while trying to somehow help those around us, trying to save them from the pain and frustration we have gone through. I dont think the speach is any less impressive than the original, I think it covers a lot of the things wrong with modern society and would make a great starting point for many discussions in various classes, I just think that we are more used to modern life being scrutinised and questioned in our enterainment nowdays so its not quiet as novel as the original was.

I guess there is a fair degree of irony in me covering this very topic being a blog writter when I am putting my oppinion out there spewing my content all over people I have never met but then heck you made the choice to read this and quiet simply writing stuff like this is a part of my life.

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