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Brokedown Palace

A movie directed by Jonathan Kaplan

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Graduation Trip Gone Wrong

  • Dec 12, 2000
Pros: Great direction; Good cinematography; Excellent Script; nice costumes and scenery; Claire Danes was FABULOUS (and I usually don't like her.)

Cons: Kate Beckinsale was less than mediocre; the Thai language is harsh on the ears

Alice (Claire Danes) and Darlene (Kate Beckinsale) have been best friends for years. After college graduation, they decide to go to Thailand. Knowing their parents won't allow them to go, they lie and say they're going to Hawaii. Once in Thailand, they meet up with Nick (Daniel Lapaine), who Darlene falls head-over-heels for. They do the deed, and nick invites Darlene and Alice to Hong Kong with them. Nick actually sets them up for a smuggling charge, and Alice and Darlene get arrested for trying to smuggle drugs. They are then thrown into a Thai women's prison facility for a sentence of 33 years each. They find a lawyer, "Hank the Yank" (Bill Pullman), who tries to lessen their prison sentence. Finally, they have to appeal to the highest power. Find out what happens in the end yourself, so I don't ruin it for you.

The scenery is fabulous, as are the costumes. Claire Danes gives an excellent performance, but Kate Beckinsale is not more than mediocre. I wish her character had a little more pizazz... Beckinsale was bland to say the least.

I sort of remember this being based on a true story. I really enjoyed it, especially since my best friend (Dionne25) and I do a lot of travelling together. I am just baffled by the stupidity of the two girls involved! Haven't they ever heard of packing their own luggage? What about not trusting a stranger? And I just gasped at the distrust Darlene had for Alice. Unbelievable!

I really liked the character of Alice. Claire Danes did a great job playing this spit fire of a teenaged girl. Her characterizations were fabulous, from her tough front to her quiet sensitivity.

The direction was great, too, as was the cinematography. The score was all right, although not too memorable.

I totally dug this movie. It moved me; swayed my emotions across the board. I can't wait to recommend it to Dee.


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More Brokedown Palace reviews
review by . June 15, 2002
Pros: great photography, good acting     Cons: none off hand     The Bottom Line: Full of life lessons     This is what happens to little girls when they don’t mind their parents. Best friends Alice and Darlene (Claire Danes & Kate Beckinsale) are graduating from high school. Friends since infancy, Darlene comes from a ‘better’ family and is portrayed as a ‘good’ girl, Alice from a broken home with a hard working middle-class father is …
About the reviewer
Candice Cain ()
Ranked #142
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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About this movie


Alice and Darlene are best friends who decide to celebrate their high school graduation with a trip to Thailand. There, they meet handsome Australian Nick Parks, who convinces them to travel to Hong Kong, but is actually using them to smuggle drugs. The two girls are sentenced to decades in prison, and must contact a greedy American lawyer to try and regain their freedom.
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Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Release Date: 1998
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (February 15, 2000)
Runtime: 1hr 40min
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