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>
The actual beach is not totally surrounded and enclosed by mountains, hiding it from the sea. In fact, there is a large gap between two gigantic boulders, and the films editors superimposed a fake mountain in post-production. See more »
The picture used for the virtual postcard near the end of the movie is not the same picture taken back at the beach, because some of the minor and main characters have changed positions and/or struck a different pose. 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.
See more »
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.
Here is another of those films that got panned by critics all over the place, but I liked the movie and thought it was unfairly criticized.
Two things are not up for debate: the film is entertaining and the cinematography is gorgeous.
Leonardo DiCaprio's lead character is not particularly likable, but that's nothing new for him. He's good at playing the boyish, cocky immature type. He's also good at narration, which he provides here, as he has in a number of other films. In fact, I wish there were more of it in here.
French actress Virginie Ledoyen is a new face to me, and a pretty one. I found her intriguing, and not just because of her face Actually, all the characters were pretty darn interesting in this film and you get a varied group.
The scenery from Thailand is magnificent. By the way, "the beach" that's in this film really exists, just as it's seen here. The story is interesting, too, for the full two hours. My only complaint was that they might have toned down the language, particularly with all the f-words.
Don't listen to those national critics who blasted this. I think you'll be entertained.
186 of 268 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this