Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA/United Kingdom, 2000. Figment Films. Screenplay by John Hodge,based on the novel by Alex Garland. Cinematography by Darius Khondji. Produced by Andrew Macdonald. Music by Angelo Badalamenti. Production Design by Andrew McAlpine. Costume Design by Rachael Fleming. Film Editing by Masahiro Hirakubo.
It has gorgeous cinematography of exotic locations and an excellent soundtrack; it also has a cast of sniveling teenagers who think that acting like hippies and smoking reefer on a beach that never ends is the equivalent to living a free-spirited life away from the concerns of a terrifying, modern world. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a young twenty-something with nowhere to go in life who, while on vacation in Thailand, hooks up with two French tourists (Guillaume Canet, Virginie Ledoyen) and together they follow a treasure map given to him by the crazed man in the next hotel room (cameo by Robert Carlyle). Where the map takes them is a pure, gorgeous stretch of beach inhabited by the aforementioned hedonists who watched too many Brady Bunch episodes as children and can only deal with the positive aspects of their community. Negative realities, like illness and death, are shunned by these people, which means that this civilization can go nowhere good, and whose obvious outcome should have been obvious to our protagonists. DiCaprio manages in the lead, and Ledoyen is quite lovely, but the standout in the cast is British actress Tilda Swinton, here starring in one of her first major studio films.
Berlin Film Festival: In Competition