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Title - Insomnia
My Admission -


One Line Review - A Good Movie But I Didn't Like It.


Review - Christopher Nolan's (Memento) new film 'Insomnia' isn't quite what I'd expected.  Normally that's not so bad, but in this case it really threw me in the opposite direction of the critics.  I found that its characters bothered me greatly.  Much the same way as those in Goodfellas; another good movie that I didn't much care for.

Don't get me wrong Insomnia is a well-constructed film.  Very eerie, decently written, incredibly directed, it has some great scenery, is very well acted, and is predictable, to a point.

Al Pacino is great as Will Dormer.  A Los Angeles police detective under investigation, along with his partner, by the Internal Affairs division.  The two are sent to Nightmute, Alaska to help solve a murder and perhaps cool the local heat on their heels.

Alaska is currently experiencing their 6 months of sunlight and this begins a bout of Insomnia for Will that, as the story unfolds becomes only one of the factors keeping him from getting any sleep. The remaining factors compounded by sleep deprivation make Will's decision making a bit unstable.  I found witnessing this quite difficult and it forced me to find abhorrence for the character. Sadly this is what's supposed to happen but it turned me off so much that I couldn't enjoy the film.  Pity for me but it doesn't have to be for anyone else.  I certainly hope it isn't.

Robin Williams turns in a fine performance of a weakly written character.  His scenes with Pacino reminded me of DeNiro and Pacino in Heat and I gobbled them up happily but Williams’s character was not very interesting to me.  A damn shame.

Hilary Swank is as good and her character is a bit more interesting than Robin's although it’s a smaller role.  Nicky Katt (Boston Public) turns up and follows through, as does the remainder of the cast, including: Maura Tierney, Jonathan Jackson, Paul Dooley, Martin Donovan, and Katherine Isabelle.

All in all Insomnia is about the unraveling of real characters. They feel very alive and very close to the surface.  Perhaps that's why it didn't appeal to me.  It felt a little to close to home, so to speak.  That's also the films strongest point of interest.  On occasion I've elected to apply pressure to people just to watch them slowly loose control and finally snap.  I used to call it entertainment.  Thankfully, I can't see it that way any longer.


Movie Information

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Turn Down The Lights, Turn Up The Sound.

Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved

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