While not one of DiCaprio’s finest performances, and not the greatest movies of all time, "The Beach" does have something to offer the moviegoer. It comes in the shape of the picturesque scenery of Southern Thailand and a glimpse of what life could possibly offer us if we all just put down what we are doing and did something extremely different. And that is how the movie begins.
At the onset we find Richard, played by DiCaprio, wandering the streets of Khao San, fresh off the plane from the U.S., and eagerly seeking that which he has never seen nor experienced. Eventually finding accommodation in a hostel, Richard is neighbored by an almost irate and insane Scotsman named Daffy Duck, (played by Robert Carlyle), who, through almost indiscernible words, enlightens a doubting Richard onto the mythical tale of paradise in the islands of southern Thailand. Richard merely blows of his tale as the words of a drug induced madman, bids goodnight, and drifts to sleep. Little does Richard know, though, how much a part of his life Daffy will become.
The next day Richard finds a map on his door and his neighbor dead, and after being questioned by the police, invites a French couple to investigate the possibility of this paradise being reality. Upon Richard, Françoise, and Etienne, reaching their final destination, they are amazed to find themselves standing in a totally self sustaining community, where everyone has specific duties to perform, and the ultimate goal of all is to keep "The Beach" a secret. But a mistake has already been made which could trigger the end of everything which "The Beach" has come to be. Coupled with the ever-present hallucinations of Mr. Duck, an air of dissention within the community, and a group of gun toting marijuana farmers creates the impression that paradise will not last forever
Though "The Beach" doesn’t attempt to tackle any social issues, is rather shallow in it’s attempt to bring you closer to the characters involved, and seems to be lacking in stimulating dialogues, it is worth a look. Those who are DiCaprio fans and those with a sense for adventure may find it rather appealing. Or you, as I did, can always sit back and imagine yourself in a similar situation..