Film Reviews, Short Review

Insomnia (2002)


Of all Christopher Nolan’s films, Insomnia may well be the most overlooked. Perhaps because it’s the least ‘clever-clever’ of his films, with no particular aspirations towards being a ‘great film’ in the way Inception, Memento, The Prestige etc. all bank on their high-concept premises and convoluted plots as a way of appearing to be more than the sum of their parts, despite their inherent qualities. The fact Insomnia is a remake of an acclaimed Norwegian film probably doesn’t help either, but nevertheless, on its own terms, Nolan’s version is a finely-crafted and well-paced neo-noir, an object of fine construction and visual clarity, the kind of crime film that looks easy but is incredibly difficult to execute correctly. Throw in an enormously creepy Robin Williams, a haggard and claustrophobic Al Pacino giving one of his better late-career performances, and a beautiful Alaskan wilderness bathed in the infinite daytime of the Arctic summer, and you have yourself a fine thriller.


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