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>
During their stroll on the beach, Françoise and Richard walk along the water with Françoise on the shore side; yet in a close-up of her, the water is behind her. And again in the next shot, Françoise and Richard are both standing knee-deep in the water, although they haven't been moving for quite a while. 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.
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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