Most Inspirational Travel Film

The Beach

Director: Danny Boyle
Screenplay: John Hodge from a novel by Alex Garland
Producer: Andrew Macdonald
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
UK release: 2000

The Beach: what's the story?
A young American, Richard, sets off on a backpacking adventure through Thailand. During a stay in a sordid boarding house he comes across another traveller, Daffy, who is clearly disturbed, ranting about a secret paradise island. Daffy kills himself but leaves a map of the island with Richard. Along with two fellow travellers, Françoise and her boyfriend, Étienne, Richard sets out to discover the mysterious island. After an exhilarating search, the trio are successful. However, as they become more integrated into the island community the seemingly carefree life starts to reveal its sinister and disturbing underbelly.

Who's in The Beach?
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton and Virginie Ledoyen, plus Robert Carlyle as Daffy.

Where's The Beach set?
The Beach was filmed on Hat Maya, the main beach of Phi Phi Leh Island, a ninety minute ferry ride from Phuket. The waterfall that the trio dive from to reach the community is the Haew Suwat Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park which is around fifteen metres high - a three hour drive from Bangkok. The Khao Yai National Park covers a huge area with habitats that include evergreen forests and grasslands and another waterfall, the 80 metre Heo Narok. Other locations used in The Beach were Bangkok, Krabi and Phuket.

What do the reviews say about The Beach?
Film website Rotten Tomatoes featured critic, Brent Simon - Entertainment Today, said: "Three-fifths of a great movie sunk by a crucial tonal misstep. A cross between Lord of the Flies, Swiss Family Robinson and Apocalypse Now." Chuck Rudolph - Matinee Magazine wrote: "The glimpses of paradise are so intoxicating that it's easy to ignore the cliches and enjoy the drama anyway."