The movie adaptation of the famous Alex Garland novel The Beach received quite mixed reviews when it first came out in 2000. Leonardo di Caprio was already a well established actor and many people rated his performance, coupled to the beautiful Thai landscapes, as the main upside to The Beach while slamming the plot and the philosophical background.
Notwithstanding the critical response, it has to be said that there is much more to this Danny Boyle movie than a popular teenage star and an exotic setting.
The Beach tells the story of Richard, a young American who travels to Bangkok to seek adventure, excess and the meaning of life.
His eccentric hostelmate Daffy tells him about a hidden beach where he would encounter the true beauty of Thailand afar off the sex tourism and binge drinking he had witnessed so far.
Richard quickly decides to join Daffy on the journey to this pristine beach but before they commence their search, Daffy commits suicide leaving Richard a map explaining how to find the ominous beach. Richard eventually decides to go alone and finds an amazing place that beggars belief in many aspects.
Throughout his adventure, the protagonist enjoys episodes of great pleasure and joy while also facing numerous moments of hardship and danger which Leonardo Di Caprio conveys with his usual acting genius.
It is a movie every true traveller will love as it captures the emotional rollercoaster that a genuine adventure seeker will be confronted to when on a long and perilous journey.