Reality is that most Canadian made films have small budgets. No tent pole films coming from this country. We just don’t have the money Hollywood does. That being said, it does not mean that we have not had quality or innovative films produced in Canada. Canadian film is going through a strong period thanks to the likes of Sarah Polley, Denis Villeneuve, Denys Arcand, Bruce McDonald, Xavier Dolan, Denis Cote, and Mark Slutsky. Now, as his CV as a director is not a lengthy one in regards to feature films, I would not jump the gun and put director Justin McConnell in the same category as those established directors, but with his latest film, Broken Mile, he demonstrates he has plenty to say and a unique way of presenting his stories.
Waking up in a bathtub filled with his own vomit is not a great start to the day for Shaun (Francesco Filice – first film). However, it is only going to get worse. Moving into the living room he discovers the body of a dead woman. A woman he knows. Sarah (Lea Lawrynowicz – Komatose) is dating his friend Kenny (Patrick McFadden – The Interior). Freaking out, he does not call the police but turns to his ex-girlfriend Amy (Caleigh Le Grand – Hard Line). Soon the two are fleeing on foot through the streets of Toronto with a gunman in pursuit. What happened to cause all this?
Presented on one continuous take, Broken Mile is a thriller in which the tension never really subsides. Once Shaun wakes up and makes the gruesome discovery the action does not subside. Little by little more of the backstory begins to be revealed.
Amazingly, despite all the location changes, McConnell is able to to keep the one-take thing going. Also trying for the three main actors involved as they have to be almost constantly on the move. The director, cinematographer and screenwriter McConnell was able to take a rather bare bones story and present it in a different way that allows the viewer to keep interest.
The conclusion, which may annoy as many people as it interests, does not really give us all the answers either. Expect to be left with as many questions as you entered with.
-Behind the Scenes
-Q+A at Canadian Film Fest
-Full Rehearsal Takes
-Bonus Short Films: Damned Selfie, Open Invitation
-Early Sales Trailer
-Bonus Song From the Film