Posted on Friday, September 13th, 2019 by Hoai-Tran Bui
“Palm trees are not native to California, did you know?”
Young-Il (James Kang) tells his young daughter Kasie that in Ms. Purple, Justin Chon‘s gauzy, contemplative follow-up to his charged 2017 darling Gook. Newcomer Tiffany Chu is the titular Ms. Purple, a young woman named Kasie who refuses to put her father in hospice even as he lies comatose in his death bed. When his caretaker suddenly quits, Kasie turns to her estranged brother Carey (Teddy Lee), who reluctantly returns home to take care of the father who kicked him out.
Ms. Purple is a story of people who “feel like they’ve been left behind,” Chon told /Film in an interview in New York.. First-generation Korean immigrants whose parents tried to make a new life in America, Kasie and Carey struggle to exist on the fringes of society — Kasie working as a “doumi girl,” a hostess at a Korean karaoke bar, Carey straddling homelessness while loitering at an internet cafe. “The world kept turning, they stood still,” Chon said. In effect, they are the palm tree: long, exotic plants swaying in a wind that is not their own. Uprooted.