Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #295 Insomnia

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2011 at 12:23 AM

Movie #295 Insomnia

(2002, US, d. Christopher Nolan)

Based on the Norwegian film of the same name, Insomnia is just another title in an ever-expanding filmography of almost pure-genius. Following the success of the wildly original Memento, Christopher Nolan moves to an all-star that includes Al Pacino, Hilary Swank, and Robin Williams in a rare turn as a serial killer. It is a film that challenges the audience to keep their sympathies with the hero or at least to keep their trust in him. Perpetual daylight in the small Alaskan town of Nightmute also causes our hero in Detective Will Dormer to develop a slowly worsening form of insomnia. They are sent to capture a killer and they come really close until a shoot-out in the fog where Dormer shoots a figure he assumes to be the killer. Turns out… it’s his partner. And slowly we add yet another burden to Dormer’s troubles: guilt. The only problem is that the only person who knows he shot his partner is the killer. And slowly a game cat and mouse turns into a battle of brains as the killer (played by a wonderful Robin Williams) begins to blackmail Dormer. Insomnia is a film that puts into light serious moral issues of guilt and mental sickness, all the while developing a unique and interesting atmosphere. Christopher Nolan proves that his first film wasn’t luck with Insomnia. Rather he wants to highlight complex issues using mainstream genres. His operatic camera under cinematographer Wally Pfister is learning its ways, but it’s looking good.

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