The Beach (film)

The Beach (film)

Infobox Film
name = The Beach

caption = The Beach poster
director = Danny Boyle
producer = Andrew Macdonald
writer = Alex Garland (novel)
John Hodge (screenplay)
starring = Leonardo DiCaprio
Tilda Swinton
Virginie Ledoyen
Guillaume Canet
Paterson Joseph
Lars Arentz-Hansen
Robert Carlyle
music = Angelo Badalamenti
John Cale
Brian Eno
cinematography = Darius Khondji
editing = Masahiro Hirakubo
distributor = 20th Century Fox
released = February 2, 2000
runtime = 119 min.
country = UK / USA
language = English / French
amg_id = 1:181889
imdb_id = 0163978
budget = $50,000,000

"The Beach" is a 2000 drama film by the "Trainspotting" team of writer John Hodge, producer Andrew Macdonald and director Danny Boyle based on "The Beach", a 1996 novel by Alex Garland. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle, Virginie Ledoyen and Guillaume Canet.


Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young American backpacking in Thailand, has come to Southeast Asia with the intention of experiencing something radically different from the life he is used to. He hears of an island that is supposed to be paradise but is commonly held to be mythical. On this island there is supposed to be a secret community of travelers who have left behind their former lives. Richard initially dismisses the island's existence, but later meets a man named Daffy Duck (Robert Carlyle) who tells Richard that he is a former inhabitant, and who gives him a map to the island. Shortly afterward, Daffy commits suicide.

Richard then meets a French couple: the very beautiful Françoise (Virginie Ledoyen) and her handsome boyfriend, Étienne (Guillaume Canet), and convinces them to accompany him to the island. They travel a great distance from Bangkok to the shores of Phuket. While there, he also befriends a pair of American surfers, Sammy and Zeph, staying in the hut next-door, who tell him of the legend of the island paradise. He does not admit to them that he knows where the island is, but the next day he makes a copy of the map and slides it under their door.

To make their way to the beach itself, Richard, Françoise and Étienne first have to hop between several adjacent islands. When Richard, Françoise, and Étienne first arrive on the island, they come across an enormous marijuana plantation, guarded by local men armed with AK-47 assault rifles. They manage to escape detection by the marijuana farmers and find the community of travelers. They are seen by Keaty, who takes them into the beach community. They are interrogated by the island's leader, Sal (Tilda Swinton) regarding their knowledge of the island. Initially, the community is angry and hostile towards the trio, but when Richard informs them that he was sent by Daffy, they gradually relent, and the three are instantly integrated into the beach's laid-back yet structured lifestyle of work and play.

One night, Richard and Françoise are walking down the beach, and she tells him that she regrets not being able to spend as much time with him as she likes, since she is in a relationship, though she likes him a lot. They swim out into the ocean to look at a swarm of bioluminescent plankton. Françoise kisses Richard, and they rise for the surface where they have sex in the water. They decide not to tell anyone about their romance, but soon everyone on the island finds out, including Étienne. Although he's devastated, he says that he won't stand in their way if Françoise is happier with Richard.

At first, the island and its community seem to live up to their reputation. Richard swims out into the ocean to catch fish with a harpoon, and is attacked by a young mako shark, but he stabs it to death with a knife — which he becomes very admired for. Events take a turn for the worse when Richard is chosen to accompany Sal to the mainland to acquire supplies. Back on the mainland, Sammy and Zeph spot Richard, and Sal overhears the two surfers talking to Richard about the copy of the map, and confronts Richard about what she heard. He admits that he told the surfers about his plans to go to the island and that he discussed its location and how to get there. When Sal specifically asks him, he denies that he made a copy of the map. In exchange for Sal's silence and Richard's return to the island, the two engage in a sexual encounter, despite the two having respective partners.

When they return to the island, everything returns to normal, until the Swedes are attacked by a mako shark. Sten dies and Christo is severely injured; Karl is the only swede unscathed by the attack. The only options for Christo are to go to the mainland to get medical help or stay on the island and take his chances, however, Sal steadfastly refuses to allow a doctor to come to the island. Christo chooses to stay, not wanting to go near the water after his encounter with the shark. Christo's condition worsens and the community becomes annoyed with it, so they take the him out into the middle of the jungle to die. All of them seem fine with this decision, except for Étienne, who stays with him. Later, Sal observes that the American surfer friends of Richard are on the neighboring island. Sal is furious, and charges Richard with the task of staying and spying on them until he can obtain the map or destroy it. While he's waiting for the surfers and their friends to arrive, Françoise shows up—furious and heartbroken—saying that Sal has told everybody else about her and Richard's sexual encounter. Richard can't cope with his task and retreats into the forest. There he becomes temporarily insane, believing that he is communing with the long-dead Daffy. He evades the other islanders and sets lethal traps in an attempt to keep them at bay, at times hallucinating that he is a character in a video game.

Meanwhile, the surfers attempt to reach the island, and are discovered and killed by the marijuana farmers. Richard returns to the community to convince Étienne and Françoise to leave the island, believing that all their lives are now in danger. Étienne refuses, not wanting to leave Christo, whose leg has become gangrenous. Richard ends up smothering him when the other two leave the tent. The farmers approach Sal, with whom they have an agreement: the travelers may continue to live on the island so long as it remains a secret. The head farmer gives Sal a pistol with only one chamber loaded, with which to use on Richard, Bugs pins Richard against the main support of the structure and she pulls the trigger, but the chamber was empty. Nevertheless, when the rest of the community see the lengths that Sal is willing to go to for the sake of the community, they leave. Sal is left behind.

The film ends with Richard returning to his former lifestyle of travel. While stopping by an internet cafe to check his e-mail, he receives an attached image from Françoise. It is a photograph of the entire beach community taken by Françoise, with the community jumping midair in unison, looking very bright and happy, taken right after Richard and Sal made their supply run to the mainland. Upon further inspection, Richard sees an animated handwritten inscription over the


* Leonardo DiCaprio as Richard
* Tilda Swinton as Sal
* Virginie Ledoyen as Françoise
* Guillaume Canet as Étienne
* Paterson Joseph as Keaty
* Lars Arentz-Hansen as Bugs
* Robert Carlyle as Daffy
* Peter Youngblood Hills as Zeph
* Jerry Swindall as Sammy
* Zelda Tinska as Sonja
* Victoria Smurfit as Weathergirl
* Daniel Caltagirone as Unhygienix
* Peter Gevisser as Gregorio
* Lidija Zovkic as Mirjana
* Samuel Gough as Guitarman
* Staffan Kihlbom as Christo

Differences between film and novel

Although there are many minor alterations to the characters and plot, the film remains fairly faithful to the novel. There are, however, a few major alterations:
*Françoise's tryst with Richard does not occur in the novel, although he is tempted and believes she may be too. In the film, it serves to alienate Étienne from the rest of the group and he becomes the permanent nurse of Christo, who is dying following the shark attack. In the novel this nurse role is filled by another character, Jed, who feels alienated for different reasons. Jed does not appear at all in the film.
*Richard's sexual encounter with Sal does not occur in the novel. The voyage to the mainland is undertaken by Richard and Jed, with whom Richard subsequently accompanies on lookout duty on the island. Jed finds out about the map left by Richard and suggests that they don't tell Sal about the potential new arrivals. In the film Sal finds out about the map during the excursion to the mainland, and initiates sex in return for keeping the secret. Later she puts Richard on lookout duty alone after spotting the newcomers attempting to cross to the island.
*The ending differs significantly from the novel. While in both film and novel the annual celebration is ruined by the intrusion of the dope farmers, in the novel this is not before Richard, Françoise, Étienne, Keaty and Jed have made plans to secretly leave the island. The dope farmers come with the map they found after killing the newcomers, angry that the islanders appear to be advertising their community, and it becomes clear that Richard is responsible. The rest of the islanders attack him before his four fellow planners come to his defense and they all escape on the raft brought over by the newcomers. In the film, the dope farmers appear to give Sal the opportunity to kill Richard in order to keep the community; She is given a revolver with only one round loaded (a la Russian Roulette), and is told to pull the trigger if she really wants to stay. She points the revolver at Richard, who is pinned by her partner Bugs against a pole supporting the roof of the cabin. The other islanders look on and are horrified that Sal would actually consider shooting Richard to save their Utopian society. Ultimately, Sal pulls trigger and the hammer falls on an empty chamber, and Richard is spared. The Islanders all run from the cabin and board a makeshift raft for the trip to the mainland, leaving Sal on the island.
*In the film, Richard is American, while Sal is British. In the novel, their nationalities are opposite of their film incarnations.


Controversy arose during the making of the film due to 20th Century Fox's bulldozing and landscaping of the natural beach setting of Ko Phi Phi Lee to make it more "paradise-like". The production altered some sand dunes and cleared some coconut trees and grass to widen the beach. Fox set aside a fund to reconstruct and return the beach to its natural state, however lawsuits were filed by environmentalists who believed the damage to the ecosystem was permanent and restoration attempts had failed. [Vidal, John. October 29, 1999. [ DiCaprio film-makers face storm over paradise lost] , "The Guardian", retrieved via on December 3, 2006.]

The lawsuits dragged on for years. In 2006, Thailand's Supreme Court upheld an appeal court ruling that the filming had harmed the environment and ordered that damage assessments be made. Defendants in the case included 20th Century Fox and some Thai government officials. ["The Nation", December 1, 2006. [ Filming 'damaged beach'] (retrieved on December 3, 2006).]

After the film premiered in Thailand in 2000, some Thai politicians were upset at the way Thailand was depicted in the film, and called for it to be banned. The depiction of the drugs culture gave Thailand a bad image and a Buddha image in a bar was cited as "blasphemous". [BBC, 9 March, 2000. [ Thai MPs call for Beach ban] (retrieved on December 3, 2000).]

According to the Lonely Planet's Thailand guidebook, the 2004 tsunami dramatically improved the look of Maya Bay (the actual name of the beach where the movie was filmed). This was because the high waves had cleaned up the beach and removed all the landscaping the Fox production team had added.fact|date=November 2007


The film was largely panned by critics and only has 19% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes [cite web | url = | title = The Beach | publisher = Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate = 2008-08-27] although it has a MetaCritic score of 43/100. [cite web | url = | title = Beach, The | publisher = MetaCritic | accessdate = 2008-08-27]

The US box office was $39 million and the worldwide total $144 million. []


Infobox Album
Name = The Beach: Motion Picture Soundtrack
Type = soundtrack
Artist = various artists
Released = 21 February 2000
Genre = Electronica
Length = 76:53
Label = Sire
Producer = Pete Tong
Reviews = * Allmusic Rating|3|5 [ link]
Chronology = Danny Boyle film soundtrack
Last album = "A Life Less Ordinary"
This album = "The Beach"
Next album = ""
The soundtrack for the film features "8 Ball" by Underworld, as well as tracks by Orbital, Moby, Blur, New Order, Faithless, Leftfield, and others. The song, "Touched" by VAST was included in the movie, but omitted from the soundtrack. The All Saints song "Pure Shores" topped the UK Singles Chart. The soundtrack was co-produced by Pete Tong.

The film score was composed by Angelo Badalamenti, and a separate album containing selections of his score was released as well.

Track listing

# "Snakeblood" (composed by Neil Barnes and Paul Daley; performed by Leftfield) – 5:39
# "Pure Shores" (composed by William Orbit and Shaznay Lewis; performed by All Saints) – 4:24
# "Porcelain" (composed and performed by Moby) – 3:58
# "Voices" (composed by Stephen Spencer, Paul Geoffrey Spencer & Scott Rosser; performed by Dario G featuring Vanessa Quinones) – 5:19
# "8 Ball" (composed by Rick Smith and Karl Hyde; performed by Underworld) – 8:51
# "Spinning Away" (composed by Brian Eno and John Cale; performed by Sugar Ray) – 4:24
# "Return of Django" (composed by Lee "Scratch" Perry; performed by the Asian Dub Foundation featuring Harry Beckett and Simon De Souza) – 4:17
#* Originally performed by The Upsetters
# "On Your Own (Crouch End Broadway Mix)" (composed and performed by Blur) – 3:32
# "Yéké Yéké (Hardfloor Edit)" (composed and performed by Mory Kante; remix by Hardfloor) – 3:55
# "Woozy" (composed and performed by Faithless) – 7:53
# "Richard, It's Business As Usual" (composed and performed by Barry Adamson) – 4:17
# "Brutal" (composed and performed by New Order) – 4:49
# "Lonely Soul" (composed by Richard Ashcroft, Wil Malone & J. Davis; performed by UNKLE featuring Richard Ashcroft) – 8:53
# "Beached" (composed by Angelo Badalamenti; performed by Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti) – 6:45


ee also

* Phi Phi Islands

External links

*imdb title|id=0163978|title=The Beach
*rotten-tomatoes|id=beach|title=The Beach
*mojo title|id=beachthe|title=The Beach
* [ Storming "The Beach"]
* [ Backstage on "The Beach"]
* [ Environmental campaign against the movie]
* [ A complete movie reference: pictures, cast, locations, crew]

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