It took a bit for me to get over Pacino's attempt at an accent which kept sliding in and out, but I found his character fascinating. His interactions with Hilary Swank were particularly strong, and I loved that final scene between them. Insomnia asks some interesting moral questions, and has you questioning if the ends justify the means. It also has a unique protagonist who rides the line between being sympathetic and being despicable.
Insomnia isn't on par with Nolan's best work, but it is better than many movies in the same genre. I struggled a little with some of the conveniences of the plot. There were moments where I kept asking myself, "would that even happen?" Also there are moments where the local investigators seemed slow on the uptake despite how strange Pacino is behaving. This is the kind of movie I'll be anxious to watch again because I think there are some layers to the film (including some interesting flashes of moments that aren't revealed until the end that would have new meaning the second time through.)
Insominia takes place in Alaska of all places where LAPD detective Will Dormer is sent to solve a murder of a young girl. He meets the Alaska police department which also has a young female cop by the name of Ellie Burr. Dormer despite having been in all kinds of unique and dangerous situations he finds Alaska to be unlike anywhere he's ever been and as the case progresses he comes face to face with demons and a killer that's he never thought he would come across. All of this happens while he suffers from several sleepless nights thus having insominia.
The story is nicely woven and so thoughtout and complex. its so crazy how the the constant light in Alaska makes it hard to tell when in the day people are out asleep or even just awake so I don't blame will for having insominia. Techically you can say this is what started the filmmaking style that we see from Nolan today. As usual amazing cinematography from wally phister. Such great and beautiful shots of Alaska, a place that you can reeeeally learn about by just watching this film.
Al Pacino performance in this film is amazing. His character has sooooo many layers of complexity and dimensions. He really captured physically the look of a guy who hadn't slept in days maybe weeks. Robin Williams was pretty damn good as a villain. There was still some of the likeableness in Williams but overall he played a well crafted villain who was pretty cunning. He's actually the kind of bad guy who might actually feel sorry for will and in a sick way want to help him. Hilary Swank did a fine job here. I was happy she didn't turn out to be some bimbo idiot she actually had a sufficient sub story in here as well that connected to it all.
Christopher Nolan is amazing here with his directing. He really brings you deep into the characters tired and slightly disheveled self. he really explores the idea of insomnia and how much it can bring you down physically mentally and psychologically .you feel really connected with Dormer and the overall story. He brings such an usual atmosphere and makes it so worth watching.