Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a backpacker travelling in Thailand. In a seedy hotel, he meets Daffy (Robert Carlyle) a fellow foreigner, who gives him a map to a secret, perfect island. His clear instructions are to never share the map to anyone. The next morning Daffy is found dead and Richard sets off on his adventure. He meets a French couple, Francoise (Virginie Ledoyen) and Etienne (Guillaume Canet), and to impress Francoise, Richard tells them about the secret island. They all go find this island, but with Richard leaving a copy of the map to two stoners he randomly meets. The three go through lengths to reach the island, swimming in open water, and almost running into armed marijuana farmers who live on the island. They reach a small community of other foreigners who have settled on the perfect beach. The community is led by Sal (Tilda Swinton) who wants nothing but to protect the secret of this island and punishes anyone who does the contrary. Richard swears that only him, and the French know of the secret. They live a seemingly idyllic existence in paradise until the realities of primitive life start to affect them. When the two stoners along with some friends arrive, Richard's lie is discovered by Sal and Richard escapes for his life.
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Best part of story, including ending:
It brings out the traveller in all of us, the excitement of discovering new places and experiencing something totally new.
Best scene in story:
When Richard and the French see the white perfect beach for the first time, it takes their breath away.
Opinion about the main character:
Richard is essentially a selfish guy. Yet you admire him for his moxie. He can get away with doing whatever he wants because he only answers to himself.