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.