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Author Topic: The Beach
Kash
Kash : Aha! He'll save every one of us...
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For some reason, I've been watching this movie every summer since 2004; it's probably director Danny Boyle's most underrated picture to date, and was, for reasons that go above & beyond baffling, maligned by critics and not as well received by moviegoers as it's star; Leonardo DiCaprio, may've hoped. But it's still a great film, and though I haven't read Alex Garland's novel, 'The Beach', at its best; is an exhilarating, James Conrad-esque critique of 'first world' arrogance and consequentialism. Some scenes (e.g. computer game jungle hunt) don't work whilst the convoluted storyline may not be to everyone's taste.

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"Woah dude, I had the strangest trip, man: I was aboard the Titanic and Billy Zane tired to kill me and then I drew a sketch of Kate Winslet who was his wife and I can't even draw and then...and then and then I was re-arranging deckchairs and then..."

Leo DiCaprio is on fine form asan American backpacker who's given a map to the legendary, secluded island by a now profoundly disturbed ex-resident (mental cameo by Robert Carlyle). Leo takes the map, hooks up with a French couple and the trio head off in search of this fabled paradise. Once there, they're welcomed into a close-knit community led by icy matriarch Sal (an unnervingly brilliant Tilda Swinton) who keeps the peace between her tribe of westerners, and the island's marijuana growing natives.

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"Sooooo since none of us can swim, I guess we'll just have to stand here all day looking pensively into the distance....yep, looks like that's the plan, guys".


One of the best scenes is Dicaprio's memorable condemnation of the revolting, hedonistic parasites: tourists who've destroyed most of Thailand with their booze addled tomfoolery and thuggish behaviour. At that point, we empathise with the commune; its strict code of secrecy and the reasons why they want to keep their numbers down to a minimum. But eventually realise that its very existence and ruthless, cult like structure is itself a different kind of incursion, which also destroys the paradise it's leaders claim to love. A very good movie once it gets going, and definitely worth a look.

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[ 10. June 2009, 19:58: Message edited by: Kash ]

Posts: 2041 | From: The Ice Planet Hoth | Registered: Jul 2001 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Helen_S
Hiding behind the shower curtain.....
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Nice post, loved this film [Smile]
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Dexter Motley Morgan
Motley Maestro
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This movie always makes my top 5 worst list. I've finally met 2 people who actually like it.......
Posts: 3842 | From: Norf Karolina | Registered: Dec 2004 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
80'sRocked

Play it Loud, Play it Proud
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Nice write up Ka$h.

I thought it was OK....

Posts: 3611 | From: Caught Somewhere in Time.... | Registered: May 2008 | Site Updates: 100  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jdocster McFly you Irish bug

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I saw it, but I can't understand the appeal??? I'll have to watch it again... [Smile]
Posts: 2729 | From: Kansas City, MO "At the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance" | Registered: Apr 2007 | Site Updates: 9  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pittsburghgirl
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I liked it alright, but the computer gaming parts were just plain silly. Beautiful scenery though. And The Swinton just plain scares the crap outta me!
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kevdugp73
He's eating after dark again....
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I liked it as well...I was sooo in love with the brunette in the movie (can't remember her name)...she says in the movie "do you want to go to the beach with me"...I was like....yeah I do!
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P_a_u_l
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The thing with this is - it lost all credibility as a movie as soon as everyone learned how much damage they had done to the location. They actually dug up trees, moved stuff, and planted new non-indigenous vegetation simply because it 'didn't look like Hollywood's idea of a beach'....

Yeah....

Posts: 3415 | From: Shermer, IL - where else? | Registered: Mar 2001 | Site Updates: 37  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
journey
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This one never really caught fire with me either. It starts off well, but then just gets progressively sillier and the plotting more forced. I also didn't care for the self-hating, hyper-conscious Western self-appraisal that permeated the story. Don't get me wrong, I understood what they were saying, I just found it to be a rather one-dimensional way of exploring the issue of cultural commodification. Especially considering the can of worms they opened up by introducing the pot farmers who themselves have to be seen as invaders and subjugators of nature.
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Princess Pooh
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Please please please read the book. When you have read the book, you can appreciate what the biggest load of rubbish the film is ;-)
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Kash
Kash : Aha! He'll save every one of us...
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80'sRocked & TBNMFU; Thanks, like my new screen name 80'sRocked, that's what it'll be from here on in.

Motley; what are the other 4?

Doc; always good to give some flicks a second chance I think.

Pittsburggirl; my ex-boss was exactly like Tilda Swinton in this movie, the less said about that the better.

Kevdug1973; the gorgeous brunette is French starlet Virginie Ledoyen and I don't think any man would refuse an offer like that. I'd defintely join her on that perilious adventure in a shark infested ocean to some place I'd never even heard of much less seen. But I'd have to memorise the French for: "I'm drowning get help" first.

Paul; interesting bit if trivia there, I always wondered why some people used to say the Tsunami put it back the way it was, didn't know they'd altered the beach to that extent.

Journey; great analysis, I wouldn't say it was self-hating but there was certainly a lot of righteous indignation directed towards mainland tourists and what they'd done to the place. I thought the juxtaposition of an indigenous cartel and foreign commune / cult was done to prove that point exactly; that neither native nor invader is completely innocent, but that even the native criminal has more rights over his own land then the foreign settler. A controversial stance, perhaps.

Princess Pooh; will do once I finish The Rum Diary, didn't Garland help with the screenplay?

Posts: 2041 | From: The Ice Planet Hoth | Registered: Jul 2001 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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