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 <email@example.com>
Keaty explains the rules of cricket and asks if anyone still doesn't understand. Richard and Étienne both raise their left hands. The camera angle changes; when Richard is shown again, he is raising his right arm instead. 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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Danny Boyle's The Beach was an awful viewing experience for me and thinking back on it is just as unpleasant, so naturally I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about it.
The reason that The Beach is so awful is because it is so pretentious and full of itself. It gives a painfully obvious and blatant expression on a social commentary that feels so forced.
The Beach is also extremely boring. I was patiently waiting for the movie to pick up, but after an hour of pure nothing, I gave up hope and assumed that the rest of the film would be just as uneventful. Sadly, I was right.
The Beach feels like a 2-hour long Expedia commercial. The music is cheap and terribly cheesy and the cinematography is sometimes interesting, but mostly just dull.
Leonardo DiCaprio did give an entertaining performance even though he did overact quite a bit. Tilda Swinton wasn't bad either, but the rest of the cast is just so forgettable and boring that it even weighs down these two characters. Robert Carlyle was one of the few redeemable aspects of The Beach. His character was utterly mad and it seemed that he loved playing this character, which made him a blast to watch.
The story is painfully slow. We have to endure long stretches of Leo's character expressing his obsession for a girl he barely knows, then we are suddenly treated to a horrifically graphic shark attack scene. The tone of The Beach is never established. Most of the movie is extremely depressing and generally uncomfortable to watch, but then the movie ends on a gleefully happy note as if nothing bad even happened.
The best way I can explain The Beach is that it is a confused, hyper mess of a film that tackles a social commentary so blatantly obvious that it comes off grossly pretentious. And any time Danny Boyle tries to have fun, it comes off as just awkward.
While The Beach does have a passionate cult following, I simply cannot find enjoyment in the film myself. It's dull, pretentious and just messy. I respect Danny Boyle as a film maker but I really don't know what he was hoping to achieve with this one. I'm just grateful that the whole experience was completely forgettable. Another trip to this mind- numbing "paradise" wouldn't be good for my sanity.
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