Insomnia is a remake of the the 1997 Norwegian film, Insomnia. I regret to say that I have not yet seen the ‘original’, and therefore am unable to comment about wether it is a good re-make or not. Having said this, I am going to treat this film on it’s own credit.
The very first Christopher Nolan film that I watched was Memento, and still I feel that the unique style of that film, makes it one of the best films ever made. His Batman trilogy was brilliant, and Interstellar made us all think. I am a little ashamed, that I had not seen this film and Nolan’s first feature, Following. But, the time has come to correct that, and Insomnia is definitely a must see.
If you love a great murder mystery, with added tension and intrigue, then Insomnia is for you. I must add, that there are aspects to this film, that make it, at times, feel like a tense horror. This is mainly due to the excellent sound editing and also the editing itself. The editing is what makes this film great, because you really feel the sense of panic and fear in the insomnia stricken Al Pacino (Will Dormer). Turns out that Will Dormer’s name was taken from the Spanish word for sleep, ‘dormir’.
Al Pacino looks old in this film, but he still manages to come across convincingly, and his performance is nothing but solid. The location where he is investigating is a place where the sun doesn’t set, and as we’re watching we start to lose track of time, it looks like day, but it’s actually midnight. Every now and then we get shocking reminders of what time it actually is, all the meantime Will Dormer hasn’t slept a wink. Apparently you can go without sleep for about 11 days, that’s what google says, and thankfully Al Pacino goes without sleep for a little less than that.
What is probably most interesting about this film is the pairing of Al Pacino and Robin Williams (R.I.P), and even more unusual is to see Robin Williams in a thriller role. This is also the first Robin Williams film that I watch after his sad passing, I’d been a little reluctant to watch his work, just because it saddens me to think about. But I managed to keep my eyes dry, this time.
I don’t think that this is Nolan’s best film, but it’s worthy of note, plus it was the fore runner that paved the way for him to direct Batman Begins. So it could be said that without Insomnia, there perhaps would not be the Nolan Batman trilogy, which would be a massive shame. For some reason the Nolan Batman trilogy has been the only ‘super-hero’ movies that I’ve been able to take seriously. Who’s with me?
Insomnia, watch it.
TRIVIA COOKIE: Although Nolan wrote the final draft to Insomnia, he isn’t given a writing credit for it, making it the only film that he has directed and not formally written.