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Utterly compelling and involving film. Well recommended!
My expectations were incredibly low when I started watching this film for the first time. It came as a super-low-budget one-pound DVD that had horrible picture and sound quality, even for VHS standards, and absolutely no extras. Just the title, "The Haven", sounded naff to me.
It starts out as a rather unoriginal film, portraying the growing-up of four friends, and it tends to be rather superficial for the first quarter, but then... it really engulfs you.
25 minutes into the film, you have been introduced to the characters and you find yourself completely addicted to see how they solve their building conflict between eachother, their conflict with people around them and how they face the real world. You get so involved into the story and the characters that you eventually experience an emotional rollercoaster until the film ends. Despite being a tough, allegedly non-sensitive guy, it had me shedding a few tears and reflecting silently upon life a few minutes when the film had ended. The film just did not leave me. I still keep thinking about it now, months afterwards.
The most fascinating fact is that it boasts a group of terrific actors, and yet they are all more or less unknown. In my opinion, the strongest actor without doubt is Andrew Bowen, who portrays Jocko. His performance is simply brilliant, and gives the character a depth that I couldn't think possible. The other three actors are marvelous as well, but it was Bowen that captured my attention. When I then found out that Bowen also was the director and writer of the film, I gasped. Quite an undiscovered talent that deserves more recognition.
The most unbelievable thing about the film is that it seems so professionally construed yet has no decent DVD or video release anywhere. To later find out that it has not even reached the major cinemas and has no major distributor is shocking. As far as I'm concerned, the film could easily compete for Oscar or Academy Awards among the top films from major Hollywood studios.
Today, "the Haven" is one of my all-time favourite films. I recommend it to everyone, but they simply cannot get hold of it, which is a shame. I really hope a decent DVD studio gives it a proper worldwide release some day.
In any way, if you get the chance to see "The Haven", please do. It is truly rewarding and will in one way or another affect you - more than you think.
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