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Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Friendship, 14 Feb. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Brokedown Palace [1999] [DVD] (DVD)
Dismissed by some as lightweight because they felt the Thailand prison scenes were not brutal enough this is actually a terrific film about the complex friendshp of two girls and a sacrifice made by one to save the other. Claire Danes gives a great performance as the girl most likely to get into trouble and Kate Beckinsale shines as the good girl who sees more in her friend than her parents do, especially her father.
After graduating high school they cook up a scheme to visit exotic Thailand on the cheap and do something special, telling Beckinsale's parents they are off to Hawaii. They meet Aussie Daniel Lapaine and he charms both girls into going to Hong Kong with them to continue their adventure. Jealousy plays a part as it is unclear at first which one he likes the best. But all is not as it seems and he disappears just as heroin is found by customs in their backpack.
What follows as they are imprisoned in Thailand with seemingly no way out as each begins to question their friendship and wonder if maybe, just maybe, the other one knew about the heroin is compelling. Of course Beckinsale's father comes to Thailand and blames Danes for getting his daughter into this mess. Danes does a good job at conveying the hurt she is trying not to show for the faith no one has ever shown in her, except for her friend Beckinsale.
Bill Pullman gives a solid performance as a slightly opportunistic and sleazy lawyer in Thailand who may be able to help them get out, for a price. Adding to the atmosphere is a soundtrack just as exotic as the locale. Everything from Delerium's "Silence" and a remake of "Rock the Casbah" to the beautiful voice of Sarah Brightman on "Deliverance" set a unique mood for a good film.
This is an entertaining and thought provoking meditation on friendship and loyalty. A sacrifice by one to save the other is one you'll never forget. Beckinsale, and especially Danes, really sparkle in an unusual film you won't want to miss. Pick this one up. It's a nice suprise.
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