Plot – Vicenarian 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 – The Beach.
Director – Danny Boyle
Released – 2000
The Beach is a truly visceral, elegant, and stunning adaptation of the critically acclaimed Alex Garland novel, Filmed on location among the flawless Thai surf and sand as mesmerising backdrop that undoubtedly makes this one of the most visually absorbing movies of the early 00s.
The vivid colours and sheer beauty of this untouched paradise is skilfully captured by Boyle and the rest of the crew, The Beach harnesses the genuine power of modern cinema, turning the beaches, jungles and urban settings into characters in their own right and helping you connect with the backpackers as they fall in love with this untouched corner of the world and detest returning to civilisation.
The acting in the movie is great throughout, with DiCaprio challenging himself with a role where he’s nothing more than eye-candy. Here he’s an American twenty-something avoiding adulthood by escaping to Thailand in to hope of finding adventure and discovering himself, but what’s most interesting about the character is dislikable the character can be, yet you become drawn to him and his idealistic view that what he is doing is right.
Tilda Swin is perfectly cast as the leader of the small island community, while Virginie Ledoyen and Guillaume Canet were solid as DiCaprio’s travel companions, while I must give special mention to Robert Carlyle as Daffy, an early warning for the young travellers that all good things come to an end.
Overall, it is difficult to explain without spoilers why The Beach is such a compelling, intelligent and beautiful movie, however, once you’ve watched it you can’t help but feel an emotional bond to this little slice of escapism. This is a movie that rewards you every time to you revisit it, topped off with a beautiful soundtrack that even today transports me to the golden sands and crystal blue seas.
If you liked: American Beauty, Runner Runner, Trainspotting