Most helpful critical review
The Book Is Better Than the Film! Trust Me!
on December 16, 2003
Some film adaptations of great novels can stand by themselves and, if the director is talented enough, can take on an importance completely apart from the film. Stanley Kubrick did this with almost every single one of his films--ranging from Lolita up until Eyes Wide Shut--making film adaptations that make the books, as good as they were, seem more intelligent and even valuable. Danny Boyle, however, with his film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, did not achieve this worthy goal. His film is well directed and definitely one of the best movies of the year, but it can't stand on its own without the novel behind it. Trainspotting, the novel, would be an absolutely impossible film to adapt to film perfectly. There is little action in the novel, and this, right off the bat, can't be optimal for a film. The plot is nonexistent, and meant to be, and, if one has not read the book, the film will be very hard to follow or understand. The book includes so many really awesome ideas and points and is executed wonderfully, so, if you want to see this movie, I strongly recommend reading the book first. It is more enthralling and entertaining than the film is, and, after reading it, it will make the film look ten times as good. Take it from me--I watched Trainspotting before I read it and took nothing from it. After reading the book, however, I understood everything much better and than watched the film again. No surprise, it was MUCH better after reading the book. If you want to know the overall premise of the film, you should check out my review of it, also on Amazon. I'm telling you, both of these are worth your time--but the book first!