A moving journey, betrayal and struggle
12 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers

Nicole Kidman delivers a powerful performance in this well-made, very gripping mini-series, and the rest of the cast is perfect as well.

Katrina Stanton (Nicole Kidman), a twenty-year-old Australian woman goes to England to search for her father, Hal Stanton (Denholm Elliot), whom she has never met in her entire life. She finds out that her father may live in Thailand now and at the same time she meets Arkie Ragan (Jerome Ehlers), a freelance newspaper photographer. In Bangkok, Katrina gets in contact with her father's lawyer, Richard Carlisle (Hugo Weaving) but Hal refuses to meet her, so she has to fly back to Australia. At the airport she is arrested- two kilos of heroine has been found in one of her suitcases, and Arkie vanishes without a trace. Katrina is then sent to the notorious prison 'Bangkok Hilton', where she endures horrid conditions. At last Richard and Hal are willing to help her but Hal chooses not to reveal his true identity to his daughter, as he pratically never does to the outside world.

Richard takes Katrina's case and meanwhile, Hal begins to search for Arkie Ragan in order to bring the drug smuggler to justice. Katrina befriends an inmate named Mandy Engels (Joy Smithers) who has carried seven kilos of heroine and is to be sentenced to death. Soon, Katrina will face the same fate.

When I first saw this many years ago I was profoundly moved by the intensity of the plot- Katrina's longing for finding her father, her father's tragic past, her mother's tortured state and her being betrayed. At one point I actually believed this was a true story (I was, after all, still very young) and Nicole Kidman's acting is so convincing. I finally got the videos at an online shop about a month ago.

However, every play has its loopholes, and this one is no exception. Just to name two here: firstly, why does Katrina call herself 'Katrina Stanton'? Hal Stanton never marries her mother, Catherine Faulkner (Judy Morris), and she is raised by her mother, hence her surname should be Faulkner.

Secondly, Richard Carlisle is Hal Stanton's lawyer who deals with his financial matters, but he later becomes Katrina's defence lawyer. Is he a criminal lawyer as well?

Notwithstanding the loopholes, this is nonetheless a great drama, a fine piece of work. Highly recommended.
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