Like the stars in the Cayman night sky, Haven’s many stories and characters fill the silver screen in writer/director Frank E. Flowers’ feature film debut.
In the first minutes we meet young lovers Shy (Orlando Bloom) and Andrea (Zoe Saldana) furtively stealing some swim time alone in Smith Cove.
The setting then skips to Miami where shady businessman Carl (Bill Paxton), is meeting his Cayman financier Mr. Allen (a wonderfully jaded Stephen Dillane) – Carl wants out, but it’s too late.
Rick and resentful daughter Pippa (Agnes Bruckner) head to Grand Cayman in the hope they’ll be safe. It also gives Pippa a chance to meet a local boy (film-stealing Victor Rasiuk) who, using his particular brand of bad-boy charm, introduces her to the seamier side of growing up in Cayman.
Once Flowers sets the stage for some top-notch action, the movie shifts back to our original lovers who, we now learn, are caught in a Romeo and Juliet affair just ripe for disaster in the form of Salada’s vengeful brother Hammer (Anthony Mackie), a rich kid gangster wannabe.
Are the lovers doomed? How will the storylines converge? These are questions Flowers sets out to answer in a complex unfurling of the hidden links between these seemingly unrelated lives which intersect on a Friday the 13th.
Using clever time shifts and creative camera work, the major plot twists are revealed in plot structure owing much to the work of Sodebergh and his faithful, a style which is always a whole lot of fun if you’re in the mood for some brain-twisting storytelling.
Caymanians will enjoy catching glimpses of the familiar sights and hearing the local dialects, and the film even features a few cameo appearances by some well-known characters-about-town.
A few of the performances really have a chance to stand out including that of Dillane and Bruckner, who are spared the self-pitying characterizations of the star-crossed lovers, and overall the film is a great take on many rarely intersecting worlds which make up Flowers’ fictionalized Cayman Islands.
For a first feature, Haven is an outstanding accomplishment for Flowers, who remarkably was only 24 when he wrote the film.
Anyone who has spent time on Island will recognize some familiar aspects blown up for the big screen, but there is no need to worry that the movie shows anything but a dramatic interpretation the young writer/director’s impressions of life in Grand Cayman when he lived here as a young man. But it’s a great piece of storytelling, and will keep audiences rooted to their seats until the final frames.
Haven opened to the public Monday and is showing at the cinema.
A private preview of the movie was held Saturday night thanks to sponsors Cable & Wireless, Delta Airlines, the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and Red Stripe.