Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Beach. C-

With Trance now in theaters, I was reminded once again that there are still some Danny Boyle movies out there I haven't seen yet. I decided to cut one off the list and sat down to The Beach. It may very well be his worst film. Not only that, but it's one of the worst island movies I've seen, taking all the dull things that can go on when a bunch of people are living on one and making them even more boring. For example, there are three young adults, Leonardo DiCaprio's Richard and a male-female French duo who figure out there's an exotic island and make there way there to pursue a life of pleasure. From the beginning it's clear Richard has an eye for the French girl, and perhaps she for him as well. The film follows through with these hints and obvious as it may be, a love triangle forms. But then it looses interest in this and and stalls any kind of romantic developments. The problem is Boyle keeps jumping around from one plot line to another, but showing no care or discipline in the handling of them. Another example is when one islander gets seriously wounded in a shark attack and spoils the fun for everyone else by his constant outbursts of extreme pain. Richard, who narrates the film, comments that on the island whenever someone is hurt they either need to get better right away so the good life can go on, or they need to die so they'll just be forgotten about. Thus, they take the man out into the middle of nowhere, put him in a tent to die, and are then able to shut him from their memory and go on with their utopian lifestyle. This is an incredibly morally serious action, and one that could have been explored inn great depth. Sure, the film show's intelligence by bringing the scenario about, but then it forgets it and moves on to something else. And before you know the movie's over and you really do feel like you've just seen nothing at all. 

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