Banged Up Abroad Review: Puff The Boring Dragon

November 11, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

2BANGED UP ABROAD – PARTY GIRL: Wednesday 11th November, National Geographic Channel, 9pm ALERT ME

It’s a well known fact that smuggling drugs in a foreign country is riskier than having a quick dip in Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool, but we Brits constantly seem to end up doing it.

Normal procedure is to get caught with a suitcase full of weed, claim that some local has set you up, spend a couple of years in a horrendous jail and then write the obligatory book which you hope will “stop other people making the same mistake.?

Banged Up Abroad is pretty standard fare, although it does go some way to explaining how easily these kind of mistakes can be made.

The subject of this particular cautionary tale is Claire, a British girl who was living a hedonistic life in Goa at the turn of the millennium. When she ran out of cash, a friend advised her that there was big money to be made from stuffing hash into metal statues and posting them to Europe.

On the first couple of occasions she pulls this operation off successfully, but as her spending spirals and her drug habits take control, the poor postal drug-dealer finds that she needs to send the parcels with greater frequency.

It’s not long before Indian custom dudes catch her in the act and guess what – she’s in a whole world of trouble.

This documentary is semi-interesting but utterly predictable, although the directors do manage to create a hint of suspense at some parts of the hammed up reconstruction.

It doesn’t break much new ground though – we’ve heard plenty of stories about people in Thai jails and while the inmates here certainly don’t live it up like the pampered crooks in Britain, we didn’t recognise this prison in Delhi as one of the crap-encrusted hell-holes that we have heard so much about.

Claire gets out in the end though and now she’s doing a florestry course while living a much better life.

I bet she wishes she was still on that beach in Goa…


Sean Marland