What movie was that...?

20 October 2010

The Beach

directed by Danny Boyle

I remember sitting in US history when my friend Danny sat down with a mile wide grin on his face. He regaled to me an article he read about poor little Leo (yes, THE Leo) getting mocked out of a movie theatre when the trailer debuted for his new film, called simply The Beach. This was back when Leo, the dreamiest dreamboat, was struggling to overcome the Titanic juggernaut that very nearly rendered him uncastable. Luckily, Leo D (that’s his Jersey Shore name) had the chops and the determination to claw his way out of the typecasting pit and become one of the finest actors of his generation. For some reason, the films snobs and know it alls of the IMDb universe have seen fit to cast disparaging ratings The Beach’s way, which is tragic because Danny Boyle’s film is great in many respects. John Hodge’s script of Alex Garland’s wonderful novel tells the tale of a young traveler named Richard who, after hearing the story of a fabled paradise off the coast of Thailand, sets out to find “The Beach” with new friends Francoise and Etienne. I won’t get into any more detail, but I will tell you this, film lover: It’s okay to love films like The Beach. Don’t be ashamed! And I will tell you what I told my brother when, after a few beers, he told me that he also likes The Beach, but he didn’t know why. “Well, I know why,” I said. People love The Beach because it is an entertaining film that speaks quite clearly to my generation of restless searchers, but people also love The Beach because we love the idea of the beach, of a place that represents perfection, where blissful solitude and idyllic camaraderie coalesce effortlessly. Hell, I don’t even like hot weather and yet I felt drawn to that place, felt a yearning for that place, felt in my heart a need for that place. The cinematography is lush and dynamic, the soundtrack is fantastic and the acting (Tilda Swinton is magnificently scary, and Robert Carlyle is out of control good) is top notch. Boyle’s film stays with you, a moment that can last forever, and all you too cool for school film hipsters out there can just go sit in a dark room and watch Donnie Darko if you disagree. You can even borrow my copy of the DVD.

BTW Happy B Day, Mr. Danny Boyle! I love you!

1 comment:

  1. It's funny even though I'm not a big fan of Leo Dicaprio I do like The Beach for all the reasons you mention in this post, hell I even like the title track by All Saints!!


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