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The Beach

The modern world presents technology, glitz, glamour and more but at just what price. In the Beach the modern world is abandoned so that simplistic pleasures can be pursued. The movie begins with Richard (Leonardo Dicaprio) enjoying his time as an American tourist in Thailand. After drinking snake blood on a dare, Richard discovers his next door motel roomate Daffy who is making all kinds of deranged noises. Richard climbs up near the top of his room and meets Daffy who gives him a map and a tale of a wonderous island of plenty that seemed to have changed life forever for Daffy.

From that point on Richard ponders this island of mystery and shares the story of the map and the island with another pair of tourists in Thailand, one a french model, the other her boyfriend. The three decide to map out the way to this island to just see if it is there. They discover at one point that they will have to swim a couple of miles to make it the final way to the island. They decide to just go for it.

Half way through the swim Richard's travelmates pretend to see a shark which causes Richard to really get worried. They are joking with him only but somehow he just didn't find it funny. Once the island is reached the three discover men with guns and fields of drugs growing freely everywhere. Is this really the path to paradise? The group narrowly escapes discovery by this drug trafficking army.

Fleeing from discovery a giant waterfall is reached. It seems to be the only way away from the armed men they left behind them. The girl jumps first and then the guys follow her. Down below the waterfall another group of people live. These people were to constitute the tribe. Within this tribe there is nothing but joy and simple pleasures. It seems that this group has an agreement with the drug traffickers to just stay to their side and neither side will bother the other.

Slowly Richard (Dicaprio) wins over the female leader of the group. That is until she discovers that he had told others of the island and even left a map behind for others to find it with. Richard is exiled from the group and put in charge of getting rid of new arrivals which will surely come to the island. Richard becomes a bit crazy and imagines he is talking with the crazy man who originaly gave him the map. With a hooky video game like sequence Richard moves through the forest as if a character in a game rather than a real person. Richard growls and acts like a true savage.

As with all paradises it ultimately will cause confrontation of some sort with the realities left behind. In the movie Richard (Dicaprio) moves in on the French model that traveled to the island with him. She dumps her boyfriend from before causing conflict and Richard himself it seems has the tribe's female leader mad at him. When tribesman die, who is to blame? When hospitals are needed is the fantasy to be abandoned? The movie presents those questions and ends with a scene that makes the tribe's leader choose between killing one of her own or being forced to leave the paradise island by the drug traffickers.

Dicaprio plays the survivor in this movie that he claimed to be in Titantic but could not be because of his desire to sacricice for Rose. By the movie's end Dicaprio had survived men who hunt with guns and killed a shark that chased after him. He could do all of this and more but he barely could keep his sanity when isolated and alone.

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