Purple Hearts Movie Review: Many soulful moments in a predictable tale
Despite a predictable plot, Purple Hearts engages with captivating character arcs and empathetic portrayal of interpersonal relationships
The purple heart symbol symbolises a melange of emotions like love, support, respect, and compassion. It’s also a medal presented to the US soldiers who have been wounded or killed in action. The romantic musical drama, Purple Hearts, brews all these emotions into a conflux. Set in Oceanside California, Cassie Salazar (Sofia Carson), a Spanish-origin aspiring songwriter-singer, juggles odd jobs to earn a living. Her burden doubles when she realises that her medical insurance doesn't cover her medication for Type 1 diabetes anymore. Cassie meets Luke Morrow (Nicholas Galitzine), a former addict and tormented marine, who is fighting battles of debt repayment and yearning for reconciliation with his father. Financial desperation being a common concern, the duo decide to marry for mutual military benefits. And when tragedy strikes, they delve into the depths of understanding love, life, and beyond.
Cast: Sofia Carson, Nicholas Galitzine, Chosen Jacobs
Director: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Streaming On: Netflix
Despite a predictable plot, Purple Hearts engages with captivating character arcs and empathetic portrayal of interpersonal relationships. Moving beyond exploration of the love life of Cassie, the film also focusses on Cassie’s mother, and why, even Luke’s attempts to rebuild his life. Striking scenes include a lengthy episode of Cassie and Luke getting to know each other through writing, and some dreams Cassie expresses later go on to become true. In this marriage of convenience, the line increasingly blurs as the characters fuel each other with belief in love.
While Purple Hearts can be called a romantic film, director Elizabeth and her writers also discuss weighty topics like feminism, racism, immigrant lives, and consent, and they do it with sensitivity and sensibility. For instance, we see two flags–pride and black life matters–fluttering from Cassie’s balcony. After her husband Luke gets deployed in a war zone, she goes on to hang the US flag as a mark of respect. These flags stand as symbols of what she believes in.
Powered by a lovely soundtrack, Purple Hearts is pumped up by peart lighting and cosy colour tones. However, the plot feels like a rehash of films we have seen over the years. Perhaps, having a stronger antagonist might have added to the charms of this film. Even in its predictability, Purple Hearts doesn’t fail to remind us that love can be more than romance. It can exist in pain, grief, respect, compassion, and ultimately, even benign companionship. In a world that is dealing with negativity, there are times when our heart just yearns for a comforting hand across our shoulder, and Purple Hearts is just that...