'Purple Hearts' review: A sensitive but predictable romance

Even in its predictability though, Purple Hearts doesn’t fail to remind us that love can be found in more than just romance.

Published: 07th August 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th August 2022 09:12 PM   |  A+A-

A still from Purple Hearts.

A still from Purple Hearts.

Express News Service

The purple heart symbol stands for a number of emotions such as 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, is a blend of all these feelings and more.

Set in Oceanside, California, Cassie Salazar (Sofia Carson), a Spanish-origin aspiring songwriter-singer, juggles odd jobs to earn a living, but the going gets even tougher when she finds out that her health insurance doesn’t cover her medication for Type 1 diabetes anymore. The former addict and marine Luke Morrow (Nicholas Galitzine) is fighting his own battles.

On one hand, he is struggling to repay his debts, on the other, he is yearning to reconcile with his father. Financial challenges bring the two together and they embark on what begins as a marriage with benefits, but when tragedy strikes, the couple delves into the depths of understanding love, life and each other.

Despite a predictable plot, Purple Hearts engages with captivating character arcs and empathetic portrayals of interpersonal relationships. Besides the central theme of exploring Cassie’s love life, the film also focuses on the story of her mother, as well as 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 the former expresses, which later come true. In this marriage of convenience, the line increasingly blurs as the characters fuel each other with their belief in love.

Purple Hearts, at its core, is a romantic film, but director Elizabeth and her writers have also taken care to touch upon important contemporary issues, including feminism, racism, immigrant lives and consent, and they do it with sensitivity and sensibility. For instance, we see two flags––Pride and Black Lives Matter––fluttering from Cassie’s balcony. After Luke gets deployed to 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 lively lighting and warm colour tones. The plot, however, feels like a rehash of films we have seen over the years. Even in its predictability though, Purple Hearts doesn’t fail to remind us that love can be found in more than just romance. It can exist in pain, grief, respect, compassion and even benign companionship. In a world that is dealing with negativity, there are times when our heart just yearns for a comforting tale, and Purple Hearts is just that.

Purple Hearts
Director: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum

Cast: Nicholas Galitzine, Sofia Carson
Genre: Romance
Platform: Netflix
Language: English
Rating: 3/5


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