Well, looking at critic's reviews at rottentomatoes.com it seems they don't understand it either. It's got a critic's average rating of 23%. I guess I'd call it a narrative. A movie trying to be profound, but ending up stupid and muddled. But then I didn't get it. Maybe someone who did get it, can explain it to me.
I always interpreted the film as the group of people were trying in vain to create a perfect utopian society away from the rest of the world, and no matter how hard they tried, they were still invaded by the violent outer world.
I personally liked the movie. Through the ads, I think too many people were expecting an action thriller and the film was something VERY different.
My interpretation was the same as Nate's. The photography was beautiful, I'll give it that, but the plot lacked sorely. It came across like they were trying to do too many things with the film and never succeeded at any of it.
I can't say it was the worst 2 hours of my life, though it comes close. Its two hours I won't get back, but at least I got to see the movie for free.
Maybe I'll read the book. Seems everyone is dumbfounded by this film as well.
The only thing I could gather is what Nate said. They wanted to create a utopian society that was unlike the outside world. However, they were destroyed from within. First by moving the shark victim away, simply to keep him from interupting their fun. And then, when Sal pulled the trigger on Richard, and everyone came to the realization that she was not the person they thought she was. The place had become something it was supposed to be. It slowly turned them into the kind of people they were trying to get away from in the first place.
Heh. This may close the thread, but it seemed anti-communist to me. So, from me,
I like the movie. I started out making fun of it, but it's pretty cool. Stupid video game sequence aside. Plus, it's real easy to make fun of Leo.
"That's an ASSHOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE suggestion!"
"It's been REAL nice knowin' ya, Daffy!"
Even though I was expecting the film version of The Beach to be a stinker, I was truly appalled when I finally saw it because the book was so very good. I don't remember the video game sequence in the movie, but I remember the Game Boy in the book representing man's inability to completely remove himself from the trappings of society even when presented with a Thoreauian nature.
Alex Garland's The Tesseract is a very good read as well - some have described it as Pulp Fiction in the Phillipines ...