In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle a Swedish murder investigator has been brought in on a special case. Sleep deprived, he makes a horrible mistake which is discovered by the killer he has been hunting.
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The movie portrays Norway's most spectacular robbery, where 11 men occupied central Stavanger for twenty minutes and escaped with 57 million kroner (appx $10 million). A police officer was shot and killed.
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In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle, a Swedish murder investigator is brought in to find an elusive killer. But when the officer accidentally kills his own partner and covers it up, a double sided game of cat-and-mouse ensues. Written by
Daniel Jos. Leary
It is hard to believe that this is Erik Skjoldbjaerg's first film. It seems like a pro job to me. Very rarely do you get thrillers crafted this well. Almost everything is perfect. The script is as taut as possible. I saw no holes, anyhow. The plot is believable and you will never see the best twists coming. Even if you are the type who sits there and constantly guesses what's coming next during thrillers, I doubt you could. The film does a lot to avoid plot cliches. And if I'm wrong about that, if I was just blinded by other aspects of the film, it won't really matter. The characters are very well written. Especially the main character, played by Stellan Skarsgard. He is certainly one of the best actors working today and this may just be his greatest performance yet. He owns the film. The cinematography is effective. It's bleak and cold. The camera moves assuredly, and it's always where it should be. The music is perfectly subdued. The direction in general is simply amazing. The mise-en-scene is marvelous. I love the settings of the film, the threatening, rocky terrain, the broken and rusty buildings, everything. This is a must-see film. One of the best films of the 1990s. 10/10.
P.S.: Christopher Nolan, the man who created the equally impressive thriller Memento, is set to direct the American remake of this film. I personally loved Memento (though I think I'd choose Insomnia over it if I had to), and I wish Mr. Nolan all the luck. I'm sure he knows what a challenge it's going to be. And I certainly pray that he isn't satisfied with simply copying the original. He could do so and mostly get away with it - Insomnia is quite underseen. I sincerely hope that he will make it his own. I already recognize one piece of the film that has to change if the setting is moved to the U.S.: Skjoldbjaerg brilliantly uses the midnight sun in this film. I doubt it would be successful if the setting were, say, Alaska. I don't think Americans would buy it. Nolan is going to have to compensate for the loss of the midnight sun.
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