Directed by: Christopher Nolan | 118 minutes | drama, crime, thriller | Actors: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Martin Donovan, Paul Dooley, Nicky Katt, Larry Holden, Jay Brazeau, Lorne Cardinal, James Hutson, Andrew Campbell, Paul Shaw, Crystal Lowe, Tasha Simms
After his successful film ‘Memento’, director Christopher Nolan has made a very successful successor with ‘Insomnia’. It is not an original script on two counts. In ‘Memento’ the story is told from back to front. Not so in ‘Insomnia’. In addition, we are dealing with a remake of the Norwegian film with the same title from 1997.
‘Insomnia’ is a psychological thriller in which loyalty and human emotion are central. The number of main characters is limited to four, but the character developments are very strong. The characters each have the necessary baggage that they carry with them. This is made clear to the viewer during the course of the film.
Both Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) and Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank) remain loyal to Will Dormer (Al Pacino) in his unorthodox way of investigating. The only question is how far can he continue with this. The characters undergo, whether or not in combination with the continuous daylight, the necessary emotional phases, which are played in such a way that it comes across as natural.
Cinematographically, the film has beautiful shots that are a feast for the eyes. The fact that we are dealing with twenty-four hours of daylight is also shown in a sublime way. A good example of this is that Will (Al Pacino) wants to investigate, but Ellie (Hilary Swank) points out that it is evening and the school the victim attended is closed.
The role of Will Dormer is superbly played by Al Pacino. Martin Donovan, who plays the role of Hap Eckhart, gives Al Pacino all the space to shine. He knows exactly the right interpretation of his character, so that Al Pacino continues to grow in his role. For a change we see Robin Williams in the role of the villain, who still manages to get the necessary sympathy from the viewer. He shows that he is capable of a lot when it comes to acting. It’s a shame that Hilary Swank can’t match the level of her fellow actors. She is unable to give sufficient shape to her character development. The chemistry between Al Pacino and Robin Williams actually makes it almost impossible for her to intervene.
‘Insomnia’ is a fantastic film, which fortunately will not give you sleepless nights.