As I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog, Princess Cut is one of my very favorite movies! I really appreciate the strong emphasis on purity and self-worth.
A few weeks ago, I reached out to the production studio, Watchman Pictures, to request a screening ticket to review the show. I had the opportunity to communicate with the director, Paul Munger, and also look forward to sharing an interview with Paul and his wife, Sheila.
I am not as accustomed to doing movie reviews. I’m being very careful to avoid spoilers, but delve more into plot content in the (labeled) bottom portion of the review.
- Starring Ashley Bratcher, Joseph Gray, Mimi Sagadin, Brett Varvel, Kendra Carelli
- Dir. Paul Munger
- Written by D. B. Hansen, Elizabeth E. Hansen, Paul Munger, Sheila Munger
- Synopsis: Grappling with the heartbreaking hardships of life, newlyweds Lauren and Robert must decide whether or not to continue trusting God.
- Buy Tickets Now
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”James 1:3
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.”Psalm 56:3
While very different from the original, Hearts on Fire carries on the theme of trust in, and surrender to, God.
The film begins with Grace and Clint, now married, living in community alongside Robert (Grace’s younger brother) and his wife, Lauren.
Much like Grace, Lauren struggles with the permanence and responsibility attached to the family farm.
In the midst of overwhelming tragedy, Lauren must decide whether or not she can continue to put her trust in God.
Comparison to Original
While many of the characters from the first film make a reappearance in the sequel, a few of the roles have changed hands. While Ashley Bratcher, Joseph Gray, Mimi Sagadin and even Kate McCallum reprise their original roles, there are several new faces in the cast. Brett Varvell and Kendra Carelli step into leading roles as Robert and Lauren Anderson.
Compared to the first film, this one deals with more mature content. While the film is still “appropriate” for families, the main characters are adults and some of the issues they struggle with are adult-specific (To see those specifics, please look at the Content section at the bottom of the post). The film is also much more serious and weighty, overall, in its exploration of truth. But that truth is life-giving, significant and valuable.
As my mom pointed out to me, purity is a consistent theme. In this case, we see purity showcased in relationship with God: the choice to choose Him above all else.
Princess Cut emphasizes purity as Grace surrenders her desires for marriage to God— waiting on His timing and seeking godly counsel. Hearts on Fire reflects purity of heart as Lauren makes the difficult decision to continue to trust God, even when she doesn’t understand why her life is going the way it is. Even when she doesn’t know what the future holds.
In addition to the emphasis on surrendering to God, grace plays a major role in the film, making for a beautiful storyline! And, as my mom observed, there is a strong emphasis on choosing God above all else.
Although the film was very different than I expected, it’s definitely worth a watch! I really appreciate that the movie doesn’t shy away from hardship, but it also doesn’t emphasize hardship over truth. We see that life is hard, but also that God is faithful. I think this is important to Christian programming.
Something my mom has told me before is that focusing only on bad is an incomplete truth, just as it is incomplete to pretend that only good (as in happy-making) things happen. Hearts on Fire does not sacrifice one reality (the goodness of life, nor the hardship) to the other, but emphasizes a well-rounded truth, modeled by a life lived in surrender to Jesus Christ! It also shows the beauty of walking in a relationship with Him.
This film isn’t a lighthearted “feel-good” story, but it is a beautiful and truthful one that points to hope in the midst of great hardship. Recommended for mature viewers who are wrestling with the challenges of life.
Watchman Pictures has been hosting online screening sessions, which end tomorrow. Tickets are $14.99 and include several hours of material: the video, plus a pre-recorded interview panel. Once your screening time begins, you have four hours to view the content, which you can pause and play at your leisure.
Content Warnings/ Spoiler Commentary
The film does not shy away from the truth that the Christian life can be really, really hard. BUT it also showcases the powerful reality of God’s Sovereignty and His closeness in these times.
Subject matter includes the sudden death of a family member, the pain of miscarriage, and feeling of betrayal in a romantic relationship. One of the main characters is also pressured by her romantic partner to have an abortion when she becomes pregnant.
The film does an excellent job of highlighting the hypocrisy of the “pro-choice” movement, as the woman is harshly and repeatedly told that she can “choose” to kill the baby that she wants to keep.