Release Date: July 29th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Distributed By: Netflix
Release Date: July 29th 2022
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
Purple Hearts– Starring Sofia Carson, Nicholas Galitzine, Chosen Jacobs, John Harlan Kim, Kat Cunning, Linden Ashby; Directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
- Come Back Home
- I Hate The Way
- Blue Side Of The Sky
- I Didn’t Know
- Feel It Still
- Sweet Caroline
- I Hate The Way (Stripped)
- Come Back Home (Stripped)
It’s been no secret that the past few years have been tough beyond what everyone could have possibly imagined. At the start of the year in 2020, we all couldn’t have expected that we’d be in lockdown, quarantining, that most things like movies and music would have to be put on hold… yet there we were- stuck at home for some of us. For me though, while the past few years have been tough in probably every aspect you could ever think of; one such surprise that I have been grateful for is my introduction to up-and-coming pop singer Sofia Carson. Sofia and her discography (and her filmography!), was sort of a left field surprise for me back in late 2020; with her impacting and hopeful constant release of singles, and her relatable and powerful roles in each of her films, reminding me to keep a more focused look on her as the years progressed. Because back in 2020, I could tell she was destined for greater things. A triple threat in her own right (singer, actor, dancer!), I first heard about Sofia probably about in October 2020, when the song “Guess I’m A Liar” released.
As I was going to youtube.com and having a browse and a scan on the YouTube home page, resulting in YouTube recommending me her video for “Guess I’m A Liar” in my feed. I paid no attention- simply because I was under the impression that Sofia was just another pop star; and then it was later a couple of weeks later that my paths crossed with her music yet again- my brother and I watched the entire 3 movies of The Descendants (you can read my review here!)… and guess what? Yep, it was Sofia’s performance in these movies (acting-wise and her singing ability!) that resonated with me and captivated my attention immensely.
After watching another one of Sofia’s movies (Feel The Beat) and then me consciously exploring her discography and her singles such as “Back To Beautiful”, “Love Is The Name”, “I Luv U”, “Miss U More Than U Know”, “Different World” and “Ins And Outs”; I found myself more and more inspired and encouraged by her music. Sofia is an artist that the world doesn’t know that well- simply because she only recently released her debut album in March 2022. We reviewed Sofia’s self-titled debut album here on this site. But as God has put things in my place for me to be more familiar with her music, and for me to enjoy her music… so too will he draw Sofia’s music to others. The more I listened, the more I wanted to tell others about this young woman who is changing the world through her music, her movies and her sheer optimism and positivity. If you want to know more about Sofia and her upbringing, then google is your friend, as well as Wikipedia, and my reviews of Feel The Beat and The Descendants. I also reviewed her songs “Guess I’m A Liar” and “Hold On To Me” here, as well as her debut album. My brother Jon blogged about Sofia’s burgeoning influence– reminding us that the future of pop music is indeed bright- and so now that we’re all up to date on all things Sofia Carson, now here we are, in 2023.
This past week, my family and I watched the Netflix film Purple Hearts, in which Sofia starred in as the lead character Cassie Salazar. I quite enjoyed the film- one of the reasons I saw the film was for Sofia; and Sofia actually sang her own songs and contributed to the film’s soundtrack. The movie and the soundtrack are around about a year old. And seeing as though you can read glowing reviews of both the film and the soundtrack on Wikipedia here and here; the movie and the film go hand in hand. You can’t write about the film without giving away the meaning of some of the songs, and vice versa. The film (over 2 hours) is a drama about how a U.S. Marine and a struggling waitress/bartender/musician marry to acquire the financial benefits- and the hardships and ups and downs that arise from that. But the film is so much more than that- and shall I say watch Purple Hearts by any means necessary? It’s a slow film and maybe it’s not for you; but if you’re thinking it’s a heavy romantic film, then that rumour and notion is so far removed from the truth. Purple Hearts speaks about the joining of two people with opposing political and life views, and everything that eventuates from that.
But because all of you who may not have seen the film- may actually want to; I’ll stop the ‘review’ of both films here; just like how I ‘reviewed’ Marry Me. All I will say is this: Sofia is an accomplished singer and an accomplished actor- and the film showcases both of her talents. Songs like “Come Back Home”, “I Hate The Way”, “Blue Side Of The Sky” and “I Didn’t Know” highlight and accentuate Sofia’s stirring and powerful voice; and her songwriting (as Cassie Salazar) has never been greater. Sofia is a superstar in the making, and this film and soundtrack proves this fact. For me, because I’m naturally captivated by Sofia’s voice, I found all of these songs inspiring, especially “Come Back Home” and “I Hate The Way”; but really, the whole album is near-flawless and seamless in context of the brilliant, compelling, inspiring and honest film. It’s not a perfect album (way too short in duration and no. of tracks!), nor a perfect film (some may say it’s too political or not political enough!). But Sofia, Nicholas, and everyone else involved, were incredibly professional and superb in this- and Purple Hearts will undoubtedly renew your faith in romantic drama films. You can read all about Sofia Carson in my brother Jon’s blog about her, though Purple Hearts (the film and the album) may not be your thing, maybe due to the sensitive nature, the seriousness of war and the general fact that the premise of the film is about cheating the government. But please give it a go. You may be pleasantly surprised at how it resonates with you. It’s a feel-good movie, and speaks about standing up for what you believe in, but also listening to the other side, and believing that we all have a valid viewpoint, no matter how farfetched and outlandish it seems. Even if you don’t agree with all points of the other side, this film promotes healthy discourse and at least listening to the other side, and then seeing the things we have in common rather than our differences. What more could you want in a movie?
I think I’ve been really lucky that a lot of the projects that I have been a part of have allowed me to do everything that I love as an artist. And this one in particular went kind of a step further, because I’ve always been in love with storytelling, and to be a part of storytelling from every aspect, from behind the scenes as producer to physical storytelling as an actress to storytelling through song, was incredibly fulfilling.
[I did] a lot of research into every aspect that could have shaped and formed the woman [Cassie] that she was when we met her. Everything from the immigrant experience coming into this country, being an immigrant in San Diego, in Southern California, type 1 diabetes, military, the military culture, her worldview, her political views, her stance on marriage.
I was also very lucky that I was older when everything changed [me beign famous], and I was an adult. I had been to college. I had lived in normal life before fame hit, because the world that I live in now and fame, it isn’t real and it isn’t normal. And it’s really important to make that distinction. And I think most importantly, I think the example my mom sets is to lead not only with love, but with gratitude. It’s so easy to get caught up in things in this industry and to want more and more, for nothing to be enough, or to get caught up in fame and just remembering that I’m so lucky every single moment.
3 songs to listen to: Come Back Home, I Hate The Way, I Didn’t Know
Score (album): 4.5/5
RIYL: Dove Cameron, Selena Gomez, Bebe Rexha, Tori Kelly, Demi Lovato, Sabrina Carpenter, Little Mix, Jess Glynne
Rating (movie): 4.5/5
RIYL: The Descendants, Feel The Beat, Work It, Adventures In Babysitting, I Still Believe, The Notebook, About Time, Me Time, Trouble With The Curve, Enchanted, I Can Only Imagine, American Underdog