Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review: Insomnia (2002)

Nolan hits it big and the proving grounds are another sunny, noir-ish thriller with a huge star at the helm. Luckily for all of us, he pulls it off with great skill, making a beautiful setting feel ominous, turning sunlight into an oppressive overlord, keeping most of the complex themes of the original intact. He even managed to fit in the same question from his previous films: "How good are you, actually, at doing your job?" A lesser helmsman would find some way to soften Dormir's corruption, scenes of ends justifying the means. Instead we get small glimpses of only Dormir's crime, in the form of fast cuts that keep him awake at night. His prison is one he has built for himself (again!), one that handicaps him and renders him outmatched by someone who can hide in broad daylight. Each route becomes increasingly complex and impossible to escape with a zero-sum. It will end in a stalemate, the killer will get away with it. Our main character is not the hound, he is the fox. It may even be an unpopular opinion but I think the film is better than the original. Perhaps its only edge is the ambiguity of the climax, which this version drops in favor of a clear winner. Eh, sometimes your voice cracks.

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