Is Brokedown Palace Based on a True Story? – “Breakdown Palace” is an epic drama that follows two best friends, Alice and Darlene. While in Thailand, they meet Nick Parks, an Australian who tempts them into taking a detour to Hong Kong at a very cheap cost. Unfortunately, their decision leads to unfortunate circumstances: they are detained at the airport for possessing heroin. For years, these girls have fought against the Thai government to maintain their mental stability.
Director Jonathan Kaplan expertly portrays Alice and Darlene in his 1999 film. Viewers are drawn into their world as they make their way through a foreign country while facing overwhelming difficulties. But before you make any assumptions about its accuracy, here’s everything else you should know about the movie.
Is ‘Brokedown Palace’ Movie a True Story?
“Brokedown Palace” (1999) is not based on true events, as some might suspect. Instead, producer Adam Fields interviewed inmates in Thai prisons to gain their perspectives and experiences of the situation. Fields and David Arata contributed to creating the storyline, with Arata writing the screenplay.
Kate Beckinsale, who portrays Darlene in the movie, revealed that director Jonathan Kaplan tried to reflect real-life experiences. During his travels to Thailand, Kaplan met with girls imprisoned for similar reasons and used actual cockroaches during filming to make it more realistic. Furthermore, Beckinsale mentioned the roach scenes were real and used actual cockroaches during production for added realism.
Beckinsale expressed her gratitude to Kaplan for believing in her and allowing her to collaborate. However, controversy ensued surrounding actress Claire Danes after she made remarks that offended fans and government officials. Later on, Claire Danes clarified her remarks by explaining that the cast had been taken to some of Manila’s poorer neighborhoods due to the movie’s subject matter. Additionally, she clarified that her remarks regarding specific places did not reflect her feelings towards Filipino people, who she described as kind, helpful, and supportive throughout.
Adam Fields was determined to learn as much as he could about the lives of American women imprisoned in Thailand. After interviewing fifteen individuals and consulting with DEA agents in Bangkok and the United States Embassy, Fields discovered that while most knew they were carrying contraband, some were innocent victims duped by a man. Richard Atkins from International Legal Defense Counsel in Philadelphia proposed that some women may succumb to such schemes due to low self-esteem, psychological problems, or a lack of attention from men.
Atkins confirmed the accuracy of sleeping arrangements depicted in prison scenes. Nonetheless, he found no fault with how Thailand’s penal system treats foreign prisoners. Thus, while “Brokedown Palace” is a work of fiction, it realistically portrays the experiences of women who fall prey to quick schemes and are sentenced to spend most of their lives behind bars under inhumane conditions as punishment for their crimes transgressions.