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>
Leonardo DiCaprio was paid $20 million for the film, the result of the immense success of Titanic (1997). DiCaprio had originally planned to play the lead character in American Psycho (2000), but when his salary demand proved too much, that deal broke down and he agreed to make The Beach. See more »
When Richard, Françoise and Étienne 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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This film had some differences from the novel that wasn't seen in the film:
Richard's obsession with war and video games is explained a bit more in the novel.
Keaty is not obsessed with his Game Boy in the film.
Richard never sleeps with Françoise despite having feelings for her, which he thinks are reciprocated, saying that he considers Étienne a good guy and would not want to do that to him.
Richard never sleeps with Sal, nor is it Sal who accompanies him to the mainland for supplies, but rather a character called Jed (who patrols the island's perimeter) who does not appear in the film. In the book, Jed is the person who leads Richard, Etienne, and Françoise to the community, not Keaty.
Ella (who works for Unhygienix), Jean (the leader of the gardening detail), Cassie (who works for Bugs), Jesse (who works in the gardening detail), Moshe (the head of the second fishing detail), and the two unnamed Yugoslavian girls (who work for Moshe) do not appear in the film.
The part where Keaty catches a dead squid that gives some of the island's inhabitants food poisoning is not in the film.
Karl escaping from the island in the beach community's main boat was not in the film.
The ending is different from the book's, which had Richard, Françoise, Étienne, Keaty, and Jed attempting to escape from the now crumbling community. In the book's epilogue after their successful escape, they move into their respective lives. Richard loses touch with Étienne and Françoise yet finds it hard to be totally freed of the effects of his experiences in that "parallel universe."
Richard never received an e-mail from Françoise with a picture after their farewell.
When you travel, you are surrounded by people. Amidst all that foreign intrigue, you are truly alone - an opportunity to be truthful to your instincts.
When you are young and you travel, recklessness and the need to experience drive almost all your decision, well other than budgetary constraints.
It is therefore quite truthful at times to relate to the character who is in search of this ultimate freedom, a place where all your worldly obligations are suspended and irrelevant.
The movie is an irony. Not only externally, that though it depicts the end purity of nature when fox's being sued for environmental damage, but also that any man-found paradise is not free, but with a price and in this case, could be the ultimate price.
I truly enjoyed the movie especially at times the sparks of life's insight and moments of traveller's consciousness that when you are there, in that destination, IT becomes reality and no longer are you foreign and problems arise regardless.
Though the romance is distracting, Etienne, Canet's portrayal is quite the eye candy.
Definitely a watch, but may not appeal to all tastes.
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