Thursday, July 2, 2009

Movie of the Month-The Beach

I simply love this film. No other way to start off this article than that, The Beach is one of my favorite films of all time. The 2000 film from Danny Boyle starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tilda Swinton was undoubtedly a box off bomb and threw both the director and the lead actor on Hollywood's back burner. Yet, I think The Beach is one of the most overlooked and under the radar films in recent memory. Based off the novel by Alex Garland, we follow a traveler named Richard (an American in the film, a Brit in the book) to Thailand. Richard is looking for the ultimate adventure and more out of life than just being a tourist around the world, in many ways Richard reminds me of an international Sal Paradise from Jack Kerouac's On the Road. Seeking the great unknown and a bigger destination, Richard stumbles across a map to a forgotten beach that is to be the ultimate paradise. He links up with a French couple and embarks on a soul searching mission and the biggest adventure of his life. The film is a visual stunner, Danny Boyle knows how to make a film and knows how to make it look like moving art across a screen and not just some flashy images. Packed with Boyle's trademark style and Leo's fine acting, the film was budgeted at $50 Million and only grossed $39 Million in the US and $144 Million world wide. The film was also a turning point in Boyle's career as he and long time acting companion Ewan McGreggor, who wished to be the lead in the film, was pushed back as Boyle picked DiCaprio instead. Whatever the case maybe, it is a great film to explore and greater than the film is its soundtrack. Backed by the music of Moby, UNKLE, Blur, Asian Dub Foundation, New Order and many others, The Beach has it all.