Fresh from the critical success of Memento. Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar) received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. As a result of the massive acclaim, filmmaker, Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brokovich, Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels) offered Nolan an opportunity to direct another film called “Insomnia” for a bigger mainstream audience. He accepted the offer.
Insomnia was released in 2002. (same year Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets came out) It received positive reviews from critics and was also a box office success.
The sole reason why I wanted to look back at this picture, is because Christopher Nolan is about to release his latest World War II epic, Dunkirk. As of right now, this is the only film not to be written and produced by Nolan, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh were executive producers for the picture.
The following review doesn’t contain any SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Positive & Negative Aspects
Positive: The Main Cast such as Al Pacino, Hillary Swank, and Robin Williams, all did a fantastic job on their performances. Williams’ performance as Walter Finch was bone chilling and creepy, similar to his other performance in One Hour Photo.
Fun Fact: Robin Williams, who starred in this movie, was best friends with Christopher Reeve (the original Superman) and he won his Oscar for Good Will Hunting which was co-written by future Batman actor Ben Affleck. Nolan later moved on to direct The Dark Knight Trilogy and produce Man Of Steel.
Future Oscar winner and one of Nolan’s collaborators, Wally Pfister, did an amazing job on The Cinematography. No Dutch Angles were present.
There’s an Easter Egg with graffiti on a building labeled “2001.” This is a reference to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is also one of Christopher Nolan’s favorite films of all time. Robin Williams voiced Dr. Know in Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial intelligence, which was originally gonna be directed by Kubrick until his untimely death.
Unpredictable Moments are depicted. I refuse to talk about in case you haven’t seen the whole movie.
There’s a big reason on why The Killer murdered the victim in the first place.
A diary plays a pivotal role. Speaking of diary, Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets also had a diary used as a plot point. I would assume that Nolan did uncredited writing for Chamber Of Secrets.
Like most of Nolan’s main characters, Al Pacino’s character, Will Dormer, is deeply flawed with a psychological disorder. His was done realistically that doesn’t involve any funny business, If you pay close attention there is a reason why he’s suffering from it.
An unexpected Death Scene occurs during a Chase Sequence. Ain’t gonna tell you who it is.
The Best Line I can think of is when someone mentions “WRAPPED UP IN GARBAGE BAGS!” I might need to reenact a scene on Dubsmash. That reminds me of that “GARBAGE DAY” meme.
One character mentioned Nancy Drew. Emma Roberts played the character in a 2007 film based on the book series, and her real life father Eric Roberts later went on to play Sal Maroni in The Dark Knight.
The Climax was intense with hand to hand combat as well as a shootout perfectly concocted in a balanced sequence. What I saw is a precursor to Nolan’s complex action sequences for The Dark Knight Trilogy & Inception.
Without giving too much away, The Ending was like a chain reaction. (not in an anti-climatic way)
Primary Themes depicted in this crime thriller includes Guilt, Death, Morality, Hypocrisy, and Obsession.
Negative: I couldn’t find anything wrong with this picture. Congratulations Nolan, you made a flawless film. I’ll have to him an Extra Point for making a flawless movie as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
In my opinion, Insomnia is one of my favorite movies of all time. If you’re a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s work, I strongly recommend this underrated gem to get yourself ready for Dunkirk!
P.S. Mr. Nolan if you’re reading this, you are my favorite filmmaker and one of my role models. Thank you for inspiring me for your unique style of storytelling.
R.I.P. Robin Williams. You’re performance in this film will never be forgotten along with your characters such as Genie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Theodore Roosevelt etc.