Sunday, April 15, 2012


An American student named Billy Hayes is arrested on Istanbul airport with two kilograms of hashish taped on his stomach. He tried to lead astray cops’ investigation in order to escape but the plan soon proved a disaster for him. The court trial declared him convict with possession. Though he and his family tried to get him out of the mess but all proved failed attempt and here begins one of the brutal tortured hell journey of prison. We noticed the vehement portrayal of authority’s brutal torture and remand, company of evil prison companion, a failed attempt of prison break and above all mental and physical breakdown that turned him towards the degree of insanity. He managed to get himself free on his won but he had paid heavy prize for it.

While adapting the original autobiographical account penned by Hayes himself, Director Alan Parker and screenplay writer Oliver Stone took much liberty to insert things which didn’t happened in reality. That includes that brutal tongue biting scene, attempted rape scene and the murder that gave the film over the top shocking jolts. To make drama more intense they even didn’t mind being anti-Turkish and hence one dimensional throughout the film. So at the end, they managed to brought the cruel and shocking portrayal of chaos and violence of seventies shifting Hollywood but what they missing was a layered approach to tell the story. Stone has written some of the rollicking screenplays and directed some of the brilliant Hollywood films but this time something went wrong. It begins like thriller, pulled the drama to certain extent but than crumbles as just torture manipulation for the senses of audience. Are they made the film to project courage of Hayes? If yes than where is the other side of the truth? Well he’s is American and Hollywood always love to portray their heroes and villains as equal in their films even at the cost of truth or portraying the foreign countries too one dimensional.

It jolts me, shocks me but that won’t last long once the film is over.


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