When The Beach first came out I became obsessed with both the film and its soundtrack. I was quickly attracted to its plot — a twenty-something American travels to Thailand on a solo trip, where he learns of a secret beach on a secluded island. Plus, I was fifteen or sixteen years old and it stars Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s the perfect combination for a boy-crazy, wanderlust girl such as myself.
Directed by Danny Boyle, The Beach also costars Robert Carlyle, Tilda Swinton, Virginie Ledoyen and Guillaume Canet (amongst a huge cast of other actors). It’s the perfect dystopian film set in a beautiful and entrancing location.
The story basically goes like this: Richard (DiCaprio), travels to Bangkok and is quickly dissatisfied by how touristy it is. At his hostel he befriends a man named Daffy (Carlyle), who seems a bit whackadoo. The very next morning he wakes up to find a map pinned to his door, and Daffy dead by suicide. Realizing that the map shows the way to a mysterious island that he’s been hearing rumours about, he tells the only other two people he’s met at the hostel — a French couple, Francoise (Ledoyen) and Etienne (Canet). They decide to seek out this island and its idyllic beach.
I’m not providing any spoilers here when I tell you that they succeed in their search. What I won’t tell you is what they find or how the film ends.
“And as for travelling alone? Fuck it. If that’s the way it has to be then that’s the way it is.”
I absolutely love it.