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Miss Saigon

It is April 1975, shortly before the Fall of Saigon, at "Dreamland" – a sleazy Vietnamese club, and it is Kim's first day as a bargirl. The seventeen year-old orphan is greeted by the Engineer, a French-Vietnamese pimp who runs the club. American Marines, aware that they will be leaving Vietnam soon, party with the Vietnamese prostitutes at the club. Chris, a Sergeant disenchanted by the club scene, is encouraged by his friend John to go with a girl. Kim's innocence strikes Chris. Kim is reluctant and shy, having had no prior experience as a bar girl/prostitute, but she still dances with Chris. When the Engineer interferes, thinking that Chris doesn't like Kim, Chris helps Kim save face by allowing himself to be led to her room. The love story begins. Thuy, Kim's cousin to whom she was betrothed at thirteen and who has become an officer in the North Vietnamese Army, arrives to take her. He is angered to find her with the American soldier. Kim tells Thuy that their arranged marriage is now null because her parents are dead. Thuy curses them and storms out. Chris promises to take Kim with him when he leaves Vietnam. Three years pass, Thuy, now a commissar in the new government, has ordered the Engineer to find Kim. The Engineer finds Kim and brings Thuy to her. Kim refuses Thuy's renewed offer of marriage and introduces him to Tam, her two-year-old son, fathered by Chris. Thuy calls Kim a traitor and Tam an enemy, and moves to kill Tam with a knife. Kim pulls out Chris' gun and shoots Thuy. Thuy dies, with Kim weeping and cradling his body. She flees with Tam and tells the Engineer what she has done. The Engineer refuses to help her until he learns that Tam's father is American. Thinking that this is his ticket to America, he escapes to Bangkok with Kim and Tam.

In Atlanta, Georgia, John (Chris’ friend) tells Chris that Kim is still alive. Chris is relieved to hear this news after years of having nightmares of her dying. John also tells Chris that he has a child with Kim. Chris finally decides to tell Ellen, his wife, about Kim and Tam. They go to Bangkok, in search of Kim and Tam. John finds Kim, and tries to tell her that Chris is married, but Kim interrupts, believing that she is about to go to America with Chris soon. John could not summon the courage to break the news to her, and instead promises to bring Chris to her. Kim suffers a horrible flashback of the night when Saigon fell: As the Viet Cong approach and Saigon becomes increasingly chaotic, Chris is urgently called to report to the American Embassy. He leaves his gun with Kim, instructing her to pack and to get ready to leave. However, when Chris enters the Embassy the gates close, as orders arrive from Washington for an immediate evacuation of the remaining Americans. The Ambassador then gives orders that no more Vietnamese be allowed into the Embassy. Kim reaches the gates of the Embassy, but it’s too late. Chris is forced into the last helicopter leaving Saigon. Kim watches the helicopter fly off from the outside of the embassy gates, still pledging her love to him. Back to Bangkok, 1978. Kim joyfully dresses in her wedding clothes and goes to Chris's hotel room, where she finds Ellen instead. Ellen reveals that she is Chris's wife. They argue, and Ellen refuses Kim’s suggestion of taking Tam to the U.S. with his father. Ellen believes that the child should stay with his real mother, saying she also wants her own children with Chris. Kim leaves devastated and she goes back to Tam and tells him that he should be happy because he can be with his father now. With Kim’s dream for her child to have a better life in the U.S., she steps into her room and decides to shoot herself.

Date Posted: 11-24-2009