Brokedown Palace

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"Their graduation present was a trip to paradise, but they never thought they would land in hell."
  • PG-13
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 6.4  (24,008)
  • 44

Brokedown Palace is a 1999 drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan, starring Claire Danes, Kate Beckinsale, and Bill Pullman. The story revolves around two teenage best friends, Alice (Danes) and Darlene (Beckinsale), who decide to take a trip to Thailand before starting college. However, their dream vacation turns into a nightmare when they are arrested and charged with drug smuggling.

The movie takes place in Bangkok, Thailand as Alice and Darlene set out on their adventure after graduating high school. They are excited to explore the beautiful country and have a fun time before parting ways for college. Alice is more outgoing while Darlene is more reserved, but they balance each other out and are great companions.

While they are enjoying their time, they meet an Australian man named Nick (Daniel Lapaine) who convinces them to go to Hong Kong with him for a weekend. They agree and Nick gives them an envelope to carry to Hong Kong as a favor. When they arrive at the airport, they are stopped by the authorities and detained after they find heroin in the envelope. Alice and Darlene insist that they had no idea what was in the envelope, but their pleas fall on deaf ears.

Their case is taken up by a well-known American lawyer named Hank Greene (Bill Pullman), who comes to their aid. He reveals that the Thai government has a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs, and the girls could receive the death penalty for their crime. As the movie progresses, Alice and Darlene must navigate the harsh judicial system of the foreign country in order to clear their names and return home.

The movie is intense and suspenseful as the girls are put through a series of intense interrogations, and are subjected to the harsh conditions of the Thai prison. The film seamlessly highlights the cultural and legal differences between the US and Thailand, as the two girls struggle to adapt to the new environment they find themselves in.

Brokedown Palace offers a deeply human perspective as the girls come to terms with the reality of their situation. Alice becomes resolute in her determination to fight the charges against her and earn her freedom. At the same time, Darlene becomes increasingly desperate as she begins to lose hope and succumb to the conditions of their imprisonment.

The striking performances from both Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale add a profound emotional depth to the story. The two actresses do an excellent job at showcasing the bond between the two girls as it evolves over the course of the movie. Bill Pullman's role is also commendable as the dedicated lawyer who works tirelessly to secure their release.

The movie has received mixed reviews from critics over the years, but the film's ability to showcase the realities of a foreign country’s legal system is what ultimately makes it a must-see film. Brokedown Palace is a gripping exploration of two women's lives forever altered by a journey that forever changed their lives.

Brokedown Palace is a 1999 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 44.

Brokedown Palace
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (24,008)
  • Metascore