The Beach Ending Explained & Film Analysis

Comfort Zone, Cruelty And Other Meanings Of The Film The Beach. The Beach (2000): The Plot And Essence Of The Film With DiCaprio, Meaning, Explanation Of The Ending, Similar Tapes.

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Romance, Adventure

Year of production: 2000

Director: Danny Boyle

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen, Tilda Swinton, Guillaume Canet

tagline: “Somewhere on the planet, heaven exists”

Awards and nominations: In 2000 the film was nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival

In the year of its release, Danny Boyle’s film “The Beach” received rather cool reviews from both film critics and ordinary viewers. What is strange: this is a smart and timely statement on the topic of human nature. In a nutshell, the plot and essence of the film “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio can be described as follows: any earthly paradise can be easily destroyed by people. However, the movie is not only about this – here, in addition to the morality lying on the surface, there is also a hidden meaning.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the content of the film “The Beach” with DiCaprio. Richard is an ordinary American guy. He loves to travel and does not understand life without adventure. That is why he comes to Thailand – he wants exotic and new sensations.

Leonardo DiCaprioThe role of Richard was played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Frame from the film.

At the hotel, Richard meets a guy named Duffy. He tells him about a certain island with a wonderful paradise beach, where not quite ordinary people live. The young man does not take the words of a new acquaintance seriously, but in the morning he receives a map with brief explanations on how to get to the island.

Richard enters Duffy’s room, but finds him dead. A little later, he meets a French couple – Etienne and Francoise and invites them to join him on a trip to the island. The guys like the idea of ​​going on an unusual journey, and they agree.

You have to swim to the island. On the spot, travelers discover a huge hemp plantation guarded by armed locals. Miraculously escaping from persecution, the guys go deep into the jungle.

They soon discover a small commune. The place where the same travelers live, who came here from many countries, resembles paradise. The commune is run by a young woman named Sal. They have their own agreement with the keepers of green fields: they can live here, but no one else should come to the beach.

After giving her the map, Richard informs her of Duffy’s death. The girl asks Richard if he gave anyone a copy of the map. The young man is embarrassed (just before leaving, he gave the coordinates to other tourists), but answers in the negative. And Sal allows them to go to that very paradise beach.

Robert CarlyleRobert Carlyle played the role of Duffy. Frame from the film.

The guys decide to stay here for a while. They manage to find a common language with the inhabitants of the commune and they accept them into the family. There is no ideology in the commune – everything looks like a resort for those who are tired of everything. They have been building a closed world for many years. Only occasionally does someone go to the mainland to sell their goods and buy everything needed for the commune.

Life here seems to Richard truly heavenly. He would be completely happy if Françoise, with whom he had fallen head over heels by this point, was with him, and not with Etienne. Soon the girl confesses to him in reciprocal sympathy. Upon learning of his girlfriend’s betrayal, Etienne lets her go.

Soon Richard will have to go fishing in the lagoon. Having sailed far enough from the shore, he suddenly realizes with horror that a shark is circling around him. The young man accelerates and by some miracle manages to escape.

A little later, Sal decides to go to the mainland and, seeing that no one is eager to go with her, invites Richard, whom she has been looking at for a long time. This greatly displeases her boyfriend Bugs. However, he does not dare to argue with the leader.

Once in civilization, Richard realizes that he has lost the habit of it. He wants to go back to the island, but Sal invites him to sit at the bar. He accepts the invitation and meets with tourists there, to whom he inadvertently gave a copy of the map. The guys have already gathered a company for a trip to the island, and Richard unsuccessfully tries to convince them. After learning about the deception, Sal tells the young man that he will not say anything to the residents of the community if he spends the night with her. Realizing that the stake will be his return to the island, he agrees …

Ending explanation

Closer to the final, a rumor spreads around the commune about the secret connection between Richard and Sal, and she spreads them herself. Upon learning of this, Françoise leaves him in a rage. A new problem (other tourists have already almost reached the miracle island) makes the young man depressed, he leaves the community and settles closer to the green field. Something happens to his psyche: he begins to follow the farmers and makes dangerous traps for new tourists.

Soon they arrive on the island and follow the same path as Richard, Etienne and Francoise a little earlier. But soon they are noticed by farmers and killed without much hesitation. Richard finally comes to his senses and flees to the commune. One of the farmers notices the young man and follows him.

Returning, Richard, not without effort, convinces Etienne and Francoise to flee the island with him – he has done things and now it is dangerous here.

Soon the commune is visited by farmers. Trying to justify himself to them, Sal blames Richard for everything. One of the farmers suggests that she kill him in order to continue living on the island. Everyone is against it, but she, succumbing to Bugs’ furious persuasion, eventually shoots the young man. However, a misfire occurs. Shocked people, having seen the true face of their leader, leave the community.

In their analysis, viewers offer the following explanation for the ending: even in paradise, people’s attitudes do not change. Conflicts are brewing even in a small community. Sooner or later, this will lead to its collapse and it is impossible to avoid this.

However, taking into account everything that happened on the island, the finale of the picture may have a different interpretation: the meaning of the ending of the film “The Beach” is that paradise is not a place on earth, but a state of mind.

Virginie LedoyenVirginie Ledoyen played the role of Françoise, Guillaume Canet as Etienne. Frame from the film.

The meaning of the film

The meaning of the film “The Beach” can be understood if you carefully follow the path of Richard to the island. At the beginning of the picture, we see a pampered American who arrived in Thailand in order to get out of his comfort zone. From the moment he met Etienne and Francoise, the young man has been doing just that. He forgets about one thing: leaving one comfort zone, you can immediately find yourself in another. This is exactly what happens to him.

The comfort zone is a misleading concept. It means the need to leave a comfortable environment for existence. But such a need can arise only in one case: if the very presence in this environment promises for a person the absence of something necessary or important for him.

The fact that a person needs something that is not in his environment means that his comfort zone is not complete. And awareness of this, in turn, is interpreted as making changes to it. After all, the realization that you are missing something is tantamount to the uncertainty that you have enough of everything. If, being in a comfort zone, you are not sure about something, it means that you are more uncomfortable in this zone. So there is an itching need to leave her.

However, the key to the “Beach” lies not only in the image of Richard. The appearance of Daffy carries almost more meaning. In the course of the film, it turns out that he was one of the founders of the commune, but left there. The inhabitants of the community call him a psycho, but it can be assumed that Duffy, who certainly cannot be called a balanced person, knew that something was clearly wrong with the society he left. He calls people parasites, and probably for a reason. What could have disappointed him so much?

tourists with backpacksFrame from the film.

In one of the episodes of the film, a shark attacks two residents of the commune. One of them dies almost immediately, and the second rots alive (there are no doctors on the island) and suffers terribly. Tired of his cries, the inhabitants of the commune decide to leave him and continue to build their paradise further. This is not understood only by the Christian Etienne, who is horrified by what is happening.

Apparently, this is not the first death on the island – and not the first such decision. Duffy, faced with this, decided to leave – left his comfort zone. He simply did not have enough humanity in her, which was often sacrificed for the sake of keeping secrets …

Duffy came to the conclusion that by entering his comfort zone, he had lost something. He needed to return it, that is, to get out of it. How to do it? He decides to enlist the help of Richard, to whom he leaves a map leading to the island. He knows that the young man will build his comfort zone and try to fit the island to him. For others, this will be the end. They will either try to kick him out or recognize the problem.

Duffy leaves the map in the hope that he will risk getting to the island – because if this happens, the inhabitants of the commune will automatically leave their comfort zone and realize that by becoming wild, they have lost what made them people.

And so it happened. Richard has become something of a ticking time bomb. By his sole presence, he corrupted the society that had formed on the island in order to indicate to each of the members of the commune what he was losing by continuing to remain in “paradise”. Each of them at one time left one comfort zone and ended up in another. And now the cycle must repeat itself. This is probably what the movie “The Beach” is about.

Tilda SwintonTilda Swinton played the role of Sal. Frame from the film.

Alex Garland, the author of the book on which the film was made, once mentioned that when creating his work he was guided by the “Lord of the Flies”. One of the main ideas of the novel by William Golding is the idea that it is impossible to curb the natural wildness, since it lives inside each of us.

Richard at the very beginning of the film reflects on the fact that everyone would like to know what heaven is before they die. Learn and understand. However, it is not possible to find it on earth in a legal way. Realizing this, some try to find heaven by circumventing the law – and not only human. Take a drug, steal a girlfriend from a friend, infiltrate someone else’s territory … “The Beach” proves that one cannot achieve a dream. Because as soon as you achieve it, it ceases to be a dream and a new desire takes its place.

Rumors of a magical beach are circulating around Thailand. Everyone would like to get to this place, except for those who are sure: once in this paradise, a person will turn it into an attraction. Paradise on earth is impossible. If you find it here, it ceases to be heaven.

Duffy finds Richard and “recruits” him. He becomes a puppet in his hands. He goes to the beach to destroy it without even realizing it. Why is Daffy doing this? He just doesn’t want the beach to become an attraction. However, he has already become one – even in paradise, people think about earthly things. About pleasures. About forbidden pleasures. About power.

The Beach is a film about human nature. Whatever a person touches, he will definitely spoil it. It cannot be defeated. You can only fence off paradise from us.

Duffy is just Daffy. He has no name, no nationality. And it’s not just that. The director, as it were, tells us that the mentality, age and other distinctive features in this case do not matter. Wherever and whenever a person is born, he is always and everywhere the same. And it’s impossible to change it.

bay in thailandFrame from the film.

Similar films

Here are a few more films similar in meaning to “The Beach” with DiCaprio:

  • Into the Wild” (USA, 2007). Young Christopher, having completed his college studies, hitchhikes unexpectedly to Alaska;
  • “Outcast” (USA, 2000). Workaholic Chuck ends up on a desert island and unexpectedly meets himself there;
  • “Perfect Escape” (USA, 2009). The newlyweds go to a remote island, not suspecting that very soon a heavenly vacation will turn into a hellish nightmare.

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