Steve De Jarnatt's Miracle Mile begins like many other romantic comedies, introducing us to its main protagonist, Harry Washello, a bashful, reserved character who has very little luck when it comes to woman. One day he meets Julie Peters, a waitress, and the two spend the day together, leaving Harry ecstatic, finally feeling that he met the woman of his dreams. One night while preparing to call Julie from a payphone, Harry intercepts a frantic call from a soldier stationed at a missile silo in North Dakota who explains that nuclear warheads have been launched, and its only 70 minutes to the end of the world. Steve De Jarnatt's Miracle Mile is indie filmmaking at its finest, being a film that uses a very simple narrative to offer up a nightmarish descent into the final hours of humanity. While many films subvert expectations, none pulls it off quite like Miracle Mile which begins as a believable, light-hearted, quirky comedy, only to descend into a terrifying vision of the darker side of humanity. Escalation is the name of the game with Miracle Mile's narrative, as chaos ensues around Harry as he desperately tries to find Julie before the end of the world. As the film progresses, things get darker and more chaotic, as nearly every character around Harry shows an inherent selfishness in this time of panic, offering up little kindness or empathy for their fellow man. Harry himself remains transfixed on finding and saving Julie, and this is the crux of the thematic weight of Steve De Jarnatt's film, as the filmmaker juxtaposes the love and kindness of Harry and Julie's relationship with the hatred and chaos of humanity around them. Using this couples frantic struggle to save their future, Miracle Mile becomes a film that beautifully encapsulates Cold War paranoia, showing how as the clock ticks down to zero how quickly humanity falls completely into depravity when the sense of safety and control crumbles during the threat of the end. At one point towards the end of the film Julie even asks Harry "people are going to help each other out, right?, a piece of dialogue that makes the filmmaker's intent quite clear. Telling a powerful and deeply nightmarish film in a very simple, yet effective way, Steve De Jarnatt's Miracle Mile offers fascinating questions about humanity and soceity in times of chaos, being a poignant reminder of the importance of kindness and love over all things.
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