Entertainment, Reviews

LE HAVRE, A Compassionate Indie


One of the better foreign films to be released in the US, Le Havre makes a statement about human rights.  I like the way the movie presents the characters, moves the story along and ends on an upbeat note.  If you love movies that put some heart into the storyline, then go see Le Havre.


Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) an illegal alien delivered to the French port of Le Havre in a shipping container and finds himself in the wrong European city and being pursued by Monet (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) a relentless policeman. By chance the African youngster crosses the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a careworn shoeshine man who decides to help the boy on the run.  With support from his community Marcel sets forward a plan to get Idrissa to England.  When Monet gets wind of it, the two have to face the possible consequences.


Marcel Marx (André Wilms) and Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) in LE HAVRE

The compassionate film shows that people have the selflessness to help those that are unfortunate in circumstances that put lives at risk.  Director Aki Kaurismaki (Man Without a Past), known for his filmmaking that involves the hardships of people, puts Idrissa in a situation that’s a hot topic  in America today.  It’s a poignant story that puts forth a lot of questions and with his heartfelt film shows how one man’s gets answered.


The film gets played out quickly, developing characters like Marcel, his wife Arletty (Kati Outinen) and others in his community showing the simple life they are living. With the opening of the shipping container and the sight of the people inside, Kaurismaki introduces the problem, and with the exception of Idrissa who escapes, he sets their fate.  With Idrissa, however, Kaurismaki takes his destiny and survival and puts them into the hands one very special man.


Le Havre has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains some peril.  The film is presented in the French Language with English Subtitles.



FINAL ANALYSIS: A passionate look at life on the run. (B)





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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com