The Beach

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Richard (DiCaprio) finds a treasure map in which 'X' marks the location of the backpacker's Holy Grail: a virgin beach deep in the Gulf of Thailand. In persuading the stunning Fran├žoise (Ledoyen) and her beau Etienne (Canet) to accompany him on the dangerous journey, Richard also commits the cardinal sin of passing on the map to a couple of jocks. What they find on the island is a commune living at one with nature, albeit under the disturbingly stern stewardship of Sal (Swinton). This Heart of Darkness-lite has a techno pulse, lustrous cinematography and stars you could eat. It's only on arrival that problems emerge: there's no flesh on the bones of this island community. Worse, Richard's descent into madness feels distinctly half-baked. Yet the movie works, just about: screenwriter John Hodge has spiked up the romance of Alex Garland's novel and put a sober spin on the finale.

Release details

Duration: 119 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Danny Boyle
Screenwriter: John Hodge
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio
Tilda Swinton
Virginie Ledoyen
Guillaume Canet
Robert Carlyle
Paterson Joseph
Lars Arentz Hansen
Daniel York

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5 / 5

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