The Beach Reviews
Intrigued, and with nothing better to do, Richard meets up with a French couple and the three of them set out to find the isalnd and its beach, to see if maybe it really is thing they've all been looking for. They do manage to find it, but quickly learn that dreams of reaching a paradise are best left as dreams.
As a concept and a novel (I'm guessing, since I haven't read it). the scenario here is wonderful and works quite amazingly. With how it is done in this film however, it falls short of greatness and could have used some work. It does have some good things going for it though, so, even though I wanted more, I liked this enough to give it a pass.
This film was a bit of a rough transition period of DiCaprio. He had yet to shed the image movies like Titanic and Romeo + Juliet had given him, and he doesn't quite suceed at disposing of it here. He does decent enough, though I think diertor Danny Boyle's go to guy Ewan McGregor would have been a better fit. It's just too bad he and Boyle got into a dispute and the studio basically forced DiCaprio into things. Like I said, he's okay though, even though I think this character seems a little "typical" or obvious for someone like him. Tilda Swinton does a good job as the bigwig in paradise though, and Robert Carlyle does his thing as Daffy.
This film skirts around elements of subtext and deeper themes and messages, but mroe often than not, the focus is on hedonsim and half baked idealism. I know Boyle is a smart and talented filmmaker, so I'm not sure if he just didn't give a shit here, wanted to lighten it up, or if the studio was responsible. At least the film touches upon thigns even if it doesn't totally expound upon or focus on them like I hoped for.
Look, this film is flawed, and I am being pretty kind to it, but it isn't boring, and the music is nice too. The best things going for it, as you might have guessed, are the location shooting and the cinematography. This film picked a great place to shoot at, and the results don't disappoint. The landscapes look awesome, and even the scenes on the mainland really come alive. It just kinda sucks that the film sirals out of focus now and then. I'm okay with showing descents into madness, and bringing odd hallucinations to life, but the madness thign has been done far better, and I was easily reminded me of that since this film not so subtly features Apocalypse Now. Also I get why they have the video game sequence, but it just comes off as silly.
So yeah, I'm letting myself get won over against my better judgment, but look, I did address the issues I have, and I think I gave a pretty balanced account of things. I like this kind of movie, and it at least put forth some effort to be good, even if it didn't totally succeed.
Had some gorgeous shots and some neat effect ideas, like the video game part, but it wasn't all weaved together and connected. Not DiCaprio's best. Though really, he was fine in it.
Also, the soundtrack and some of the stylistic techniques, were CRAZY dated,
Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
No matter what you think of it, Danny Boyle's "The Beach" deserves credit for not being forgotten, for still provoking discussion so many years after its release. I've never met anyone who has seen it who didn't have a clearly-formed opinion on it, nor anyone who had seen it but forgotten it. It has its defenders, but its reputation is still quite bad, and it's probably regarded as a turkey more often than it is defended as a misunderstood great.
Truth is, it's neither a complete disaster (although I haven't read the supposedly great book it's based on, which might affect my opinion) nor a great or even particularly good film. It's about half a watchable movie, mostly thanks to the first hour or so, which sets up the events of the final hour, and where DiCaprio is doing just fine with his role. The film starts entering turkey mode about an hour in, and reaches a climax of absurdity when DiCaprio, now morphed into Tarzan, is put in a stylized video game sequence. Come on Danny, we know you're better than that.
I actually like DiCaprio as an actor, but I'm not sure what the hell he's doing in about half of this movie, though he's hardly completely to blame, considering the half-baked, bizarre, screwed up freak of a script here. It seems like a good enough idea on paper: adapt cult novel using the same team that made "Trainspotting", also adapted from a cult novel, such a big hit (same producer, screenwriter, and director). Perhaps "The Beach" just shouldn't have been adapted, because the 'philosophy' here, and any supposed 'depth' ends up being absolutely ludicrous, and much of the latter half of the film is just plain bad. Still, I've seen too many truly bad films, ones where gouging my eyes out became an option half-way through, to hate this film. The first half is too watchable and it just looks too good to really be the complete disaster many say it is. It's a missed opportunity, but visually gorgeous and probably worth a curiosity viewing.
The reason I didn't like "The Beach" is because it's an incredibly strange movie. I agree with the critic that said that this movie can't decide what it wants to be because IT CAN'T!! At times I thought it was going to be a drama movie, and other times it seemed like a suspense movie. The whole time the movie just suffers from an identity crisis. On top of that, I never really got into it, the characters aren't that interesting, and it was sort of boring.
I hate to say it, but I didn't really see anything all that great about "The Beach" other than some of the scenery. This is one beach I don't recommend for anybody to visit. This beach might as well be closed. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. This movie sucked major, wasn't even any nudity.
The Beach takes everything you would desire about a paradise island and flips it on it's head.
This will interest anyone who has travelled/backpacked or has the desire to.
I want to see more movies like this ? If anyone has any more recommendations do please let me know.
Richard: Well, I'll be fine. I'll find my own place thanks!
Hustler: Good time boy! Girl! Fucking! No problem.
Hustler: You wanna drink snake blood?
Richard: Wait a minute, did you say snake blood?
Hustler: Oh yeah!
Richard: No thanks.
Hustler: What is wrong with snake blood?
Richard: I just don't like the idea.
Hustler: Or maybe you're scared, afraid of something new!
Richard: No, I just don't like the idea, that's all.
Hustler: Ah-ha! Just like every tourist, you are all the same, just like America!
The combination of a good actor like Leonardo DiCaprio with kinetic visual director Danny Boyle and much of the same team behind Trainspotting may seem like the ingredients for a pretty hip movie, but unfortunately it seems to fail more than it succeeds.
DiCaprio stars as Richard, a young man who has decided to travel away from normal life in pursuit of true freedom. He makes his way to Thailand, eventually befriending another individual, played by the always wonderful Robert Carlyle, who comes to give him a map to an island.
Richard: I told myself spreading news was part of a traveller's nature, but if I was being completely honest, I was just like everybody else: shit-scared of the great unknown. Desperate to take a little piece of home with me.
Along with two fellow travelers he met in his hotel, Richard embarks upon a journey to this island.
Now after arriving on the island, and seeing that half of it is a place of business for marijuana growers, the gang finds this wonderful beach paradise, inhabited by a hippie community, led by Tilda Swinton.
From there we see, of course, what is the eventual dark drama side involving pretty much what happens whenever a new guy enters the fold and somehow fucks things up and makes someone else eventually seem to be the one that is responsible.
So the plot is kind of a mess. It combines about three films into one, and it just doesn't fit right.
What does help, visual effects aside, are the various uses of locations and camera work handled by Boyle's team for this film. It certainly looks very good and has a wonderful soundtrack, which is customary for all Boyle films.
DiCaprio is also good here, despite being given some awkward dialog to work with.
All in all, it's an ok film that works for at least one viewing if you have the interest.
Richard: When you develop an infatuation for someone you always find a reason to believe that this is exactly the person for you. It doesn't need to be a good reason. Taking photographs of the night sky, for example. Now, in the long run, that's just the kind of dumb, irritating habit that would cause you to split up. But in the haze of infatuation, it's just what you've been searching for all these years.
Negatives: The movie has a few weird parts in it that are completly unexplained. There is simply no reason for parts towards the end, but the movie ends on a strong note with another great quote, and a pretty memorable scene.
This movie is beyond worth watching. Everyone who likes drama and romance should see it but beware if you dont like Leonardo DiCaprio you probably will not like this film either.
It kind of reminds me of Lord of the Flies? If that's the correct literary comparison?