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The Beach 2000

R CC

Not quite ready to surrender himself to responsibility or mainstream society, a young American travels to Asia and discovers he is not alone in his feelings.

Starring:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel York
Runtime:
1 hour, 59 minutes

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I've read Garland's novel and I must say that it's a difficult exercise to adapt this novel for the screen. But in general, I think that the adaptation Boyle and his team made was rather good. The movie reviewers have tried to kill this film, I don't know why... Maybe because they didn't really understand it.... Cause The Beach goes in many directions, it's a movie on which it's not easy to stick a label... It's not an adventure movie, nor an action movie... neither a love story, nor an "art et essai" film, it's maybe all those categories... and probably the reason why this movie "failed" with large audiences...
The Beach is a sort of metaphor... It tells the story of a quest... a quest for humanity and above all a discovery of how human beeings can become when they want to protect their selfish "little universe"... and how they react when they are confronted with the reality... Different themes are broached : utopia of a better world, death, honesty, betrayal, madness, sectarianism, violence, drugs... It's also a bitter critic of our way of life, of our western culture and of our incompetence to escape from it... A critic also of the american hegemony...
Well... technically, The Beach is a wonder... The french Darius Khonji has, as usual, put all his talents in the cinematography and captured all the beauties of Thailand... The soundtrack is completely adapted with Danny Boyle's way of filming; dynamic, going from one scene to another, abrupt, rough... Actors-wise, the british actors Paterson Joseph (Keatty) and Tilda Swinton (Sals) deserved longer roles, the french Guillaume Canet as well... But their characters in the novel are not very developed either so... The rest of the cast (Swedish, danish, spanish actors) are good...
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Format: DVD
If you know anything about philosophy, even the basics, you are probably familiar with Plato's allegory of the cave or the concept of "real" and "ideal" contrasts in everyday life. This book, made into a film, is an excellent example of the real and ideal contrasts. Ideal things are those that are divinely inspired: good, beauty and love. The real are things that are striving for ideals but are tainted by the human perception and emotions. These things are good, beauty and love mixed in with jealousy, hate, regret, envy, fear and control. Ideal or "platonic" love is much different that real love.
In THE BEACH, Richard, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, is striving for the ideal. His whole life is spent travelling and searching for something better. When he finds it in The Beach, a little piece of divinity, he knows immediately that humans can't possible experience something so perfect without tainting it. Strangely, what happens is that everything that he felt before, he feels with increasing intensity. He feels love, sex, violence, everything more strongly (and more acceptable), and uses drugs as an escape or to intensify his experience. But, and here's the warning to us all, everything blows up in his face, driving him to breakdown.
To me, this film is a warning of the dangers of striving for something that we can't understand nevertheless control. the "Ideal" is not something for humans to experience in a tainted environment. This film also causes us to question the nature of humans: Good, Evil or just Misunderstood?
So, if you have been looking for something a little creepy, a little extreme, a little emotional, a love story, a murderstory, a comedy, a tragedy, or just something that will be a feast for your philosophical mind, this is the film for you. Or, if you just want to see a cool movie, there's lots of drugs, lots of sex, lots of violence (fighting, guns and the like)... this is the movie for you too!
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Format: VHS Tape
Taken for it's face value "The Beach" is an entertaining, lavish and exiting movie working on 2 levels: The humoristic, superficial contemporary picture of a backpacker in beautiful surroundings, which becomes second nature to the moviegoer and vanishing just as quickly as the coke and popcorn enjoyed, if this is what one is looking for - or leaving the committed moviegoer with a nagging point of a knife constantly rousing the consciousness making it wonder: What was that all about? Why? - and following a further dive into the inner deep likewise little by little brings up to mind questions and replies. The message is clear - it does, however, require efforts of the moviegoer her/himself to put words to it. And exactly that situation has been the wish of Danny Boyle, I believe!
If one has expectations about experiencing a "Trainspotting 2", a successor to "Titanic" with a Jack Dawson risen from the dead - or a true copy of Alex Garland's book by the same name - well, then you will most likely return home in disappointment - as it meets with none of these. "The Beach" has been scripted freely after the book, and going to the theater with an open mind and wide open eyes - well, then you will be awarded with 2 hrs. of entertainment with an incredibly well-playing Leonardo DiCaprio, beautiful footage by Darius Khondji, exciting and surprising sound-, picture- and light effects and not the least a lot to think about following in respect to our modern society and materialistic based happiness!
With this role Leonardo DiCaprio has returned pretty close to his earliest and very highly acknowledged performances of misfit characters as i.e. Arnie (What's Eating Gilbert Grape), Arthur Rimbaud (Total Eclipse), Jim (Basket Ball Diaries) and Hank (Marvin's Room).
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