Justin McConnell is a filmmaker who uses tension marvellously, usually either channeled through shadowy environments or visceral fears. In his latest film Broken Mile, he breaks personal ground by using time to intensely disorient his audience.
Using a shooting style that’s drawn out and seemingly uncut, Broken Mile follows a dishevelled man (Francesco Filice) as he comes out of unconsciousness to discover a dead body. He tries to act fast, but the walls of his reality are closing in. He desperately reaches out to an ex-girlfriend (Caleigh Le Grand) who happens to be surprisingly loyal throughout his crisis. However, he can’t shake away the suffocation when he spots an armed and dangerous man (Patrick McFadden) stalking him.
Broken Mile is good, but it’s not as high-strung as that premise makes it out to be. Instead, the condensed timeline and intimate performances have the appeal of character-driven theatre. McConnell, who also serves as the film’s DoP, may push his camera toward his cast, but he allows his actors to breathe and carry this ambitious project.
Broken Mile screens at Toronto’s Canadian Film Festival on Friday, March 24 at 9:30 pm at Scotiabank Theatre.
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