Synopsis by Mark Deming
Two carefree Americans embark on an overseas vacation that soon becomes a nightmare in this powerful drama. Alice (Claire Danes) is a headstrong teenager who wants to do something different to celebrate her high school graduation, so she persuades her more reserved best friend Darlene (Kate Beckinsale) to join her on a trip to Bangkok. While enjoying sun and scenery, Alice and Darlene meet Nick Parks (Daniel Lapaine), a charming Australian who shows them the sights and sweet-talks Darlene into a romantic assignation, which is something of a surprise to her bolder friend Alice. Nick then suggests that they join him on a side trip to Hong Kong, but they soon discover that Nick's interest has been neither friendly nor romantic: he has hidden a large amount of heroin in their luggage and is using them as drug runners without their knowledge. When the heroin is found by customs officials, Alice and Darlene are quickly tried and sentenced to 33 years in a hideous prison known to inmates as Broke-Down Palace. Their plight comes to the attention of "Yankee Hank" (Bill Pullman), a renegade American attorney in Asia, but while Hank struggles with the court system to get Alice and Darlene released, they must deal with the living hell of life behind bars, and their own doubts about each other. Brokedown Palace was directed by Jonathan Kaplan, who previously dealt with judicial injustice in The Accused and teens in difficult circumstances in Over the Edge.
prison, drug-smuggler, heroin, teenagers, trip, injustice, American [nationality]