Purple Hearts (2022)
122 min|Drama, Music, Romance|29 Jul 2022
6.7Rating: 6.7 / 10 from 47,391 usersMetascore: 30
In spite of their many differences, Cassie, a struggling singer-songwriter, and Luke, a troubled Marine, agree to marry solely for military benefits, but when tragedy strikes, the line between real and pretend begins to blur.

Fake marriage stories are rare in the film medium, like the Indonesian film Wedding Agreement, which was released a few years ago. Purple Hearts presents an interesting issue when a marine marries a girl based on health insurance and money, without the frills of love. Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum directed Purple Heart with unfamiliar names, Sofia Carson and Nicolas Galitzine. We can watch this Netflix film since the beginning of last August. Is this interesting and sensitive premise able to be tackled well by the filmmaker?

Cassie (Carson) is a young musician with his group, The Loyal, who is desperately trying to make a living to save the life of someone diagnosed with diabetes. While Luke (Galitzine) is a young marine who will soon send into Iraq because he ran away from problems with his father and thousands of dollars in debt with a drug dealer. With an excuse and a precarious and urgent situation, Cassie and Luke finally pretend to be married to get health insurance and a small amount of money each month. As their relationship grew closer, love began to emerge.

For true film connoisseurs, it is not difficult to anticipate the story. Act after act is too easy to predict the scenario. This story might be more interesting if a top-caliber actor/actress played it. Why? Chemistry is the key to this film. These two cast members pretend they don’t love each other and then have to act (“pretend”) to love each other. The two main actors fail miserably in this regard. The expected chemistry never appears throughout the film, even with her song. Love is not shown only with the gaze but the heart. This one never appeared. From start to finish, there wasn’t a single spike in chemistry.

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Apart from strong social issues, due to the script and the main cast’s appearance, Purple Hearts cannot present enough chemistry to gain sympathy and empathy. The script is also a big weakness that cannot support the cast’s appearance. The plot is too cliché like tv’s a soap opera. At least this film gave us information about this kind of case among the military, which is certainly not small in number. It seems that this kind of case is not just like in Green Card (1991), which I don’t remember when the last time I watched it. This is a good reference if you intend to watch a similar story.

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Hobinya menonton film sejak kecil dan mendalami teori dan sejarah film secara otodidak setelah lulus dari studi arsitektur. Ia mulai menulis artikel dan mengulas film sejak tahun 2006. Karena pengalamannya, penulis ditarik menjadi staf pengajar di Akademi Televisi dan Film swasta di Yogyakarta untuk mengajar Sejarah Film, Pengantar Seni Film, dan Teori Film sejak tahun 2003 hingga tahun 2019. Buku film debutnya adalah Memahami Film (2008) yang memilah seni film sebagai naratif dan sinematik. Buku edisi kedua Memahami Film terbit pada tahun 2018. Buku ini menjadi referensi favorit bagi para akademisi film dan komunikasi di seluruh Indonesia. Ia juga terlibat dalam penulisan Buku Kompilasi Buletin Film Montase Vol. 1-3 serta 30 Film Indonesia Terlaris 2012-2018. Ia juga menulis Buku Film Horor: Dari Caligari ke Hereditary (2023) serta Film Horor Indonesia: Bangkit Dari Kubur (2023). Hingga kini, ia masih menulis ulasan film-film terbaru di montasefilm.com dan terlibat dalam semua produksi film di Komunitas Film Montase. Film- film pendek arahannya banyak mendapat apresiasi tinggi di banyak festival, baik lokal maupun internasional. Baru lalu, tulisannya masuk dalam shortlist (15 besar) Kritik Film Terbaik dalam Festival Film Indonesia 2022. Sejak tahun 2022 hingga kini, ia juga menjadi pengajar praktisi untuk Mata Kuliah Kritik Film dan Teori Film di Institut Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta dalam Program Praktisi Mandiri.


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