The Beach (2000)

Written for Luther College Chips on February 17, 2000 with Josh W.

Josh:  I’ve never gotten into the whole Dicaprio thing.  As far as the movie went, however, he did a good job.  Those ladies out there that still consider him a heart-throb will appreciate him having his shirt off quite a bit.  Personally, I could have done without it.

Dan:  I agree with the shirtlessness.  However, Dicaprio was believable at all times in his role as a drifter looking for paradise.  Not once did I think of him as Jack Dawson, passenger on the Titanic.  The plot itself started off almost reminiscent of Fight Club in style, but then quickly moved into an almost “Lord of the Flies”-esque moral story.

Josh:  There were some interesting twists that kept me wondering what would happen next.

Dan:  The twists were decent, but things did feel abrupt at times.  Dicaprio has some moments where his mind wanders into dream-like scenarios and those didn’t always work for me, even if they did supply some brief shocks.

Josh:  By the end, most of those scenes made sense, but as they were happening I too was a little lost.  Also, the short video-game segment didn’t seem to fit.  It seemed almost childish for such a serious movie.

Dan:  I agree again!  If we keep on this same wavelength much longer, Moid is going to be out of a job.  A lot of that randomness that we were sensing from the movie could be the result of the rather rocky test-screenings that the film went through before it was released.  The director, Danny Boyle of “Trainspotting” fame, had to do quite a bit of re-editing due to poor initial audience reaction.  When that happens, movies generally end up with noticeable scars.

However, environmentalists are angry over how the environment was sacrificed in order to make this film.  20th Century Fox plans to donate revenue generated from the first showing to Thailand National Parks.

Josh:  The movie did make me think about how people treat nature.  There were some extraordinary shots of the beach.

Dan:  The great Arial shots done on location around Thailand made this film worth seeing this on a big screen (all of you pot-addicts out there will appreciate a shot of a sprawling field of weed(s)).  When it came down to it though, I did find the ending a bit weak.  I wanted all heck to break loose.

Josh:  The ending definitely surprised me; I thought that there would be more action.  There was a buildup to a big ending, but then all of a sudden it was over.  It was a good flick.  Not a big-time, must-see movie but something that you should check out.  Thought provoking enough that I’ll be thinking about it for the next couple of days.

Dan:  Overall, it was a good movie for a cloudy Sunday afternoon.  Check this one out, but catch it as a matinee.

D.S. Christensen
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