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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

THE BEACH

Everybody's heartthrob, everybody under 18 that is, is back again, and with his shirt off. Oh, my aching heart.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a young American backpacker, Richard, in this skewed coming-of-age yarn which takes place in Thailand. Maybe he actually swam from the icy Atlantic, where we left him in "Titantic," to the warm Malaysian waters. Who's to know? He's certainly none the worse for wear.
In any event, he got there somehow, and therein lies the tale – Richard's search for a real world, sans the accouterments of modern civilization. (Like, for instance, a good plot).
In Thailand at a cheap hotel he encounters an old traveler, Daffy, (Robert Carlyle), who suffers from the ravages of too many years of sun and good drugs. Daffy tells Richard of a secret island, unspoiled, a paradise on earth, and Richard realizes this may well be what he's been looking for. The next morning he finds the old traveler has committed suicide, but not before leaving Richard a map telling how to find the secret island.
Richard embarks, map in hand, and takes along a French couple he meets at the hotel, Francoise, (Virginie Ledoyen) and Etienne (Guillaume Canet). And the trio find an idyllic beach, and an idyllic life, too good to be true. But, alas, as is the case with most things of that nature, it proves exactly that; too good to be true. All is not bliss; the beach's people have foibles. Oh, my.
This is where the movie becomes what one reviewer has called "Beach Blanket Leo," and another wag called "a cross between Swiss Family Robinson and Taxi Driver." Whatever, it's Leo.
The press has reported that the residents of that Thailand beach are extremely disappointed and angry at the state in which the movie company left the beach, idyllic no more. Conservationists are making quite a fuss, and, according to published reports, plan to take action.
It is rated R for violence, some strong sensuality, language and drug content.
It is playing at Market Square East.

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