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.
Garland's novel centers on a young nicotine-addicted traveler named Richard, an avid pop-culture buff with a particular love for video games and Vietnam War movies. While at a hotel in Bangkok, he finds a map left by his strange, whacked-out neighbor, who just committed suicide. The map supposedly leads to a legendary island paradise where some other wayward souls have settled. Written by
Mike Arndt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The island was initially chosen by location scouts for Fox Studios not because of its astounding natural beauty, but because of its potential for a landscaping redevelopment. The script called for a clearing on the beach large enough to play football, so they bulldozed a large swath of the native trees and vegetation. They also planted a hundred non-native palm trees just to get the right look, essentially introducing an exotic species to the island that could take over and effectively change the habitat forever. While the whole thing was an eyesore for the locals, the real damage didn't come until the filmmakers left the island. The usual seasonal storms hit the beach, but this time the sand dunes didn't have the protection of their natural vegetation. They collapsed immediately and washed out to sea, damaging the fragile coral reef on their way out.
Environmentalists were outraged and accused the filmmakers of bribing the Thai government to get around legal requirements; for instance, the National Park Act, which was specifically designed to prevent this exact sort of thing. Allegedly Fox donated the equivalent of $100,000 to the Royal Forestry Development in Thailand; the normal fee for filming on the island is less than one percent of that. Afterwards, they were allowed the freedom to remodel the island as much as they pleased after the money changed hands.
Environmentalists responded by taking legal action against Fox Studios, its local coordinator Santa International, and the Thai government officials. Seven years later, the court penalized the film company for unnecessary ecological destruction and ordered them to repair all environmental damage to Maya Beach, which is much more than just planting a few trees. They are also expected to rebuild the marine life population that was wiped out.
In a fitting twist, the message of the movie is that trying to preserve an untouched paradise is futile. See more »
When Richard, Francoise and Etienne look over to the island judging its distance, the sunlight changes between long shots and close-ups. See more »
My name is Richard. So what else do you need to know? Stuff about my family, or where I'm from? None of that matters. Not once you cross the ocean and cut yourself loose, looking for something more beautiful, something more exciting and yes, I admit, something more dangerous. So after eighteen hours in the back of an airplane, three dumb movies, two plastic meals, six beers and absolutely no sleep, I finally touch down; in Bangkok.
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The Beach is interesting in that some people feel that its terrible while there are others who feel that it is an unsung hero of a movie. When I first saw The Beach, back in 2000, I thought it was OK, not as bad as most people said it was. But, just like with A Life Less Ordinary, The Beach grew on me and I had to watch it again. After seeing it a few more times I really started to pick up on what was going on and realized that at the end of the film the viewer has gone through quite an adventure with Dicaprio and co. The acting, cinematography, music, and story are great and hold up after repeat viewings. The Beach is one of those movies that I watch once a year as its enjoyability never decreases. This is a very solid film that will no doubt only increase in its popularity as time goes by as fans of The Beach are quite hardcore. Even though Dany Boyle has said that he is not very proud of The Beach I believe that he's made a gross error and misjudged his work because even after all these years The Beach still has a freshness to it that most films lose while they are still in the theaters. Because of these reasons The Beach will not die today.
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