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The Beach (2000)
A great film, but of course, the book is better.
I have travelled. I am one of those who claim to be a traveller and not a tourist. When I was travelling around the Southern Hemisphere, my favourite companion was a famous book called The Beach. It really hit the nail on the head about what back-packing was like. A thoroughly enjoyable book that was famous among the travelling community. So as you can imagine, when I heard they were making a film version, I was looking forward to seeing it. However, I had heard a lot of things about how the film didn't stay true to the original story of the book, making me dread seeing it and wondering if that the magic will be lost forever. Another reason to be fearful was the fact that Richard is now an American. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just didn't seem right. Having now seen the film, I am glad it got made. The photography is second-to-none and even though some of the characters (mainly Jed) were missing, and some of the story changed, it still works as a good adaption. After all, you can't fit everything into a two hour maximum screening.
Leonardo Di Caprio is a competent actor, no matter how many people slag him off for his pretty-boy looks. He grasps the character of Richard with great vigour and is sufficently helped along by the strong support cast. It hardly matters that Richard is American, even though purists are bound to see this differntly. Overall a good, beautiful looking film with a story that holds your attention to the very end. There are a few downfalls, which I won't point out, because they are obvious and purists of the book will probably hate it, but don't they always.