Alice and Darlene, best friends, decide to take a trip to Thailand to celebrate high-school graduation. While there, they are befriended by charming Australian rogue Nick Parks. Nick convinces them to take a weekend side trip to Hong Kong, but at the airport, they are busted for smuggling drugs. They are convicted in a show trial and sentenced to 33 years; in desperation, they contact Yankee Hank, an American lawyer based in Thailand who has been reported to be helpful if you've got the cash.Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Carl Franklin was originally attached as director, but left the project after Fox imposed casting decisions on him. See more »
When the girls are being escorted out of the airport, you can see a large crowd of people behind a waiting line rope. These are most likely local residents who clamored to get a glimpse of the movie while being filmed as all of them are clearly watching the scenario as it unfolds. See more »
I was shown this movie in my high school civics class, which was a few years ago (I have since graduated from high school), and didn't get much out of it around the beginning, but for the most part, it had me in suspense. It had been over 4 ½ years since that unforgettable experience when I very recently rented it and watched it a second time. I was once again intrigued by a lot of it, but this time, certain things bothered me.
Two young Americans, Alice Marano and Darlene Davis, are long-term best friends. After graduating from high school, they plan to go on vacation in Hawaii before going to college. However, when they are convinced by peers that Thailand is a better choice, they decide to go there instead, but without informing their parents! While in Thailand, they soon meet a young Australian man who introduces himself as Nick Parks. They become friends, and Nick convinces Alice and Darlene to fly to Hong Kong. As the two lifelong friends wait in line for their flight, they are in for a shock, as they are suddenly arrested! It turns out that heroin has been found in their luggage (which they both claim they did not put in there), and in this country, being found guilty of drug smuggling leads to very long prison sentences! Do they have any chance of getting out, or are they doomed to spend the next several decades in a Thailand prison?!
What are the problems with "Brokedown Palace"? Well, first of all, it starts out rather dull. For the most part, prior to the arrest, I did not see too many merits in the film. I did feel tension at times during this part of the film, but that was just because I knew what was going to happen. I also found Claire Danes' narration (as Alice) to be rather poor, and I have noticed quite a bit of praise for the acting (not a lot of criticism), but I myself was not too impressed with it (at least not from the two lead actresses, Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale), so I'm a bit confused. Maybe I'm thinking too much of the script (which I'm not surprised to find a lot of criticism for), and/or I just don't like the two main characters, who don't seem too bright. I must confess, I am not an expert on Thailand, so I don't know how accurately "Brokedown Palace" depicts the country, and if I were to go there at some point, it could negatively change my view on this film.
Since I was impressed with quite a few parts of this drama, I can't give it any less than a 6/10. The film could also remind people in first world countries of the harsh penalties for crimes in countries like Thailand, so I guess I'll give it credit for that as well. However, 6 is not THAT high a rating, and because of all the problems I found in the film, it wouldn't feel right to give it a rating any higher than that. In my opinion, "Brokedown Palace" is not that bad (though those who are more enlightened on the subject matter of the film may disagree), but if it wasn't for certain significant problems, I think it would have had a lot more potential.
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