The Beach Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 4, 2010
The visuals are jaw-dropping and the idea is promising, but the film is irregular and shoots in every direction without managing to fully explore the possibilities of its premise, remaining a lost opportunity to show how paradise is not really about a place but the people living in it.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2007
Excellent story with breathtaking scenery set in Thailand. Leo's character Richard is an American tourist who embarks on an adventure to find a paradise island. But at what price? My favourite scenes are when Francoise pretends to be eaten by a shark, when they debate how they are to get down from the waterfall and the scene where they are together in the water. Excellent cast and soundtrack. Directed by Danny Boyle.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2011
The film goes all over the place and in the end barely saves itself. The acting is good but nothing special and Boyle's directing wasn't exactly there. More of an exercise with a big budget, Boyle uses new techniques to grab our attention but ultimately leaves most viewers unsatisfied.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
This is the film adaptation of a novel about an American (British in the novel) backpacker named Richard traveling through Thailand to see the world and experience new things. Richard is getting fed up with the way the world has become, and, as luck would have it, he gets word of an oft talked about secluded island paradise off the Thai coast that few people know about, especially how to get there. It's the stuff of legends, but one day Richard meets a disturbed Scotsman named Daffy who tells him the island and its beach are real, and gives him a map to it before committing suicide.

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.
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2011
The Beach started off well enough and it kept my interest until the middle. After that, the film went down hill, and I felt that performances were too wooden and boring. This film had potential, and considering Danny Boyle made this, you'd expect something terrific. But the film just ended up being a total waste of time. What's really a shame is that there's a great cast that star in this film, but not even them can hold this picture together. I think it's a shame, because The Beach started off in such a way that you thought the film would end on a high note. Alas, it was not to be. The ending was awful, and it ruined everything that was good about the film. The Beach looses its fire halfway through the film, and the story becomes ridiculous. I think The Beach missed the mark in terms of effective storytelling, and it's apparent that the filmmakers are struggling with the material at hand because the end result is a film that misses the mark. I had high hopes for this film, and I was let down. This is not Danny Boyle's finest hour that's for sure. There's a good cast at work here, but because of the script obvious limitations, no one can really deliver on screen. The result is a film that tries too hard to entertain and result is a mediocre film that fails to keep you interested till the very end. I found myself struggling to finish watching this, and once I did finish it, I asked myself, why did I even bother? A good cast is wasted here, and a potentially good story is absolutely ruined by a terrible second half that makes the first half obsolete.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2008
In my opinion, the only real issue I had with this movie was - it was too long! Far too much time is spent on certain elements of the movie that could have been edited better. I know for sure I enjoyed it much more than most of my friends and maybe going into it with low expectations helped me enjoy it more.
Super Reviewer
December 26, 2010
Well I think where this film loses it is in the story and direction. And that is a very bad thing. There were elements presented that went nowhere. And it seemed scattered and divided like everyone forgot the purpose of the movie halfway through. I think it also attempted WAY too much. A little Lord of the Flies, a little disillusionment of our youth, a little who cares? I mean who actually cared about the characters with all the themes going on?
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,
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2007
A traveller in Thailand encounters a manic stranger who entrusts him with a map to a secret island paradise. The Beach feels very much like a hangover from the 90s in that it makes the same mistakes many films of that particular decade made; namely it mistakenly assumes that a few smug new age platitudes and pop music are a substitute to depth of plot or characterisation. Much of the film feels like a cross between a travelogue and an australian soap opera as a bunch of insufferably self obsessed hedonists play at Robinson Crusoe, shag and play beach sports. I can't really fault DiCaprio's performance as he does the best he can with what he's got to work with but all of the characters are so difficult to care about that I just never gave a crap. It got a bit more interesting towards the end when Leo goes batshit but it's marred by some horrible directorial gimmicks (the videogame sequence being the worst offender) and it just takes an eternity to get to the meaty stuff which is over with far too quickly. It has some very nice scenery and Robert Carlyle puts in a memorable cameo but otherwise it's about as exciting as a two hour long tourist infomercial.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2010
3 stars
Super Reviewer
December 26, 2008
"And me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it's not some place you can look for, 'cause it's not where you go. It's how you feel for a moment in your life when you're a part of something, and if you find that moment... it lasts forever..."

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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 25, 2008
I liked this one....feelt like a somewhat unique story. and DiCaprio is funny when he gets angry. But I have obviously seen the ending before
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2009
Really underrated and overlooked. What I love about Danny Boyle's movies are that they all have extremely real characters. There is no bad or good guy, they're all multi-layered. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swindon both gave really good performances and really pulled you into the plot. Like before, the directing from Boyle is phenomenal.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2009
This could and should have been a fantastic film. Unfortunately it wasn't. The direction, is at times, terrific but is ultimately spoilt by some extremely poor judgement. The talking shark was fine but the video game scene was just appalling! I think the films biggest flaw is that it was badly miscast (although having annoying actors playing annoying characters should have worked). What should have been a top thriller turns into a long episode of Shipwrecked/Hollyoaks.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2009
Ever since I saw the previews for "The Beach," I wanted to see the movie. I finally got to see it and I was more disappointed about it than I have been for any movie so far this year. Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) finds a couple of French people and invites them to go to a beach that is supposed to be complete paradise. While on the beach, the 3 will see both good times and bad times, and their experiences will range from life-threatening situations to seduction.
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.
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2007
Yet another watch for this beautiful film, a backpackers paradise and a journey of discovery not only geographically, but also from within.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ December 3, 2006
Hustler: Hey! Do you need somewhere to stay?
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.
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2007
Several almost interesting movies rolled into one.
Super Reviewer
½ November 3, 2008
The Beach is a suspense, mystery, drama, romance movie with a little bit of comedy on the side. If you like Leonoardo Dicaprio then the movie is worth more then seeing. He narroates the entire movie with tons of great/meaningful quotes. The rest of the actors do great as well but obviously no one will compare to what leonardo brings to the screen. It's also insane graphic! Great effects and music.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2008
The Beach has an interesting concept - that a closed beach exists where life is idealic - no cares, all the marijuana one would like, eat fish from the sea, etc. The idea is flawed as the need to keep the beach secret causes the death of two of the inhabitants. It does portray a negative view of mainland Thailand - if that is how it is, I have no interest in visiting.
Super Reviewer
½ May 17, 2008
Not bad, not bad at all.

It kind of reminds me of Lord of the Flies? If that's the correct literary comparison?
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