An insomniac detective investigates the murder of a teenage girl in a sleepy Alaskan town. He enters a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the main suspect and must fight the instability of his consciousness to keep up.
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Perhaps the constant sunlight is a metaphor for the inescapable nature of the truth. However, unlike the original, Nolan's "Insomnia" remains a by-numbers thriller, unilluminated by a much-needed Highsmithian sense of transference between Williams (miscast) and Pacino.
A fine smaller film from Nolan—indeed, as he goes further and further towards big-budget maximalism, his "minor" films can be his most satisfying, showing the themes that interest him and his knack for slowly fracturing psyches.
I feel like I should watch the original. Pacino's performance is great, but Nolan really doesn't build up any atmosphere. It feels too distant, too much like a movie. And was I the only one who felt the dialogue about the pedophile was just there for shock value? But damn, Robin Williams plays one hell of a creep.
A patient film of harsh cerulean hues, unsettling ambiance, cold vistas and paranoia. Pacino and Williams simmer in subtle, convicted performances as dueling, guilty perfectionists; mirror images trying desperately to shatter each other -- they need no further reminders of their dark deeds and abhorrent desires.
A very underrated film, and one of Pacino's best roles. It is so painful to watch his hyper-realistic descent into hallucinatory sleep-deprivation that after the film is over, you want to take a long nap. Robin Williams plays a subtle villain who would almost be likeable, except there is something about him that you just want to slap repeatedly. Then again, maybe that's just Robin Williams. Christopher Nolan *****5