"The Beach" reminds me of "Lord of the Flies" but instead of boys being stranded on a deserted island, it is about young adults that live on an island that has an idyllic secluded beach and communal lifestyle. One side of the island is home to a 60s type of "hippie" commune, and the other side is occupied by a large scale pot growing operation that is watched over closely by armed guards. The two groups have managed to coexist by remaining mutually exclusive. There appears to be no property ownership or governance on the island even though it is within sight of mainland Thailand. To enjoy the movie, you have to get past the unlikelihood of a present day "lost paradise". L.DiCaprio plays Richard, a kind of rogue male, one of three new members of the commune. In his testosterone pumping youth and immaturity, he finds himself unwilling to abide by the rules as directed by its matriarch. The main rule involves strict secrecy about the beach, the commune, and how to get there. Away from the restrictions and limitations of the society from which he came, DiCaprio's character feels free to challenge others and himself. Because of his behaviour, he is ostracized from the commune, and goes "native". He implodes upon himself. Richard is instrumental is causing conflict between the island's inhabitants, and the downfall of the commune. Like "Lord of the Flies", this movie is about what could happen when people are removed from the watchful eyes of society. Some strive to maintain the "civilized" values from their past. For others, the dark side of the psyche is unleashed, self-discipline gives way to chaos, and chaos leads to destruction. In both this movie and "Lord of the Flies", society is viewed as the controlling force over man's unbridled instinctual nature - an interesting concept.