One of the small but mighty pleasures of living in Berkeley are the $5 "flashback flicks" that play at the United Artists Theater every Thursday. Tonight I made it to see Trainspotting for the first time, merely 14 years after it was released. Danny Boyle--later of Slumdog Millionaire fame--directed the film.
It's about heroin addicts and con artists on the margins of Edinburgh society. Ewan McGregor plays Mark Renton, leader of a gang of misfit "mates." There is gallows humor aplenty, as well as true tragedy (a baby girl dies because all of her caretakers are so high they forget about her.) And one of the few friends in the circle who wasn't on heroin eventually succumbs to its lure.
Renton tries several times to put his past behind him, at one point even moving to London to work for a property management firm. But some of his mates follow, and he eventually gets sucked back into the madness.
This reminded me of my dad, who has battled his own drug of choice (alcohol) for many years. The hardest part seems to be leaving the old friends, even more than breaking the habit. But temptation lurks whenever those friends are around.
So when that evidence of his past comes knocking on Renton's London door, I had a sinking feeling(so did Renton.) Even though I'd never seen Trainspotting until tonight, I've seen this particular drama before.