DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
I am a complete fan of Christopher Nolan, ever since 2000’s “Memento”, and overall his films score between eight to ten but this was his hiccup. My first thought on this relatively simple crime thriller is that casting heavyweight Al Pacino was his first major misstep.
Pacino sells movies on his own, and this was a Nolan, though early work, film with character and tones which would develop into the film makers epic style. But this is such a run of the mill film, with few moments or twists to elevate it.
That is not to say though that there were not elements within the script which worked nor that the performances, direction or screenwriting were poor, because they certainly weren’t. The ‘Insomnia’ element to the plot for example was expertly handled in what would become Nolan’s creepy style, with m0ments such as Pacino frantically trying to cover the window up within his hotel room as the never ending Alaskan day/night is hindering his efforts to sleep, only to have the light switched on to a blinding lux.
The insomnia element was pitch perfect but stood out like a sore thumb against the backdrop of the rather mundane thriller. Insomnia had an added irony for me, as someone who struggled to stay awake throughout the entire film. I’m not one to fall asleep within films but it surely stands as a testament to this picture that a film about not being able to sleep should induce a deep slumber withing a modest 113 minute running time.
Overall, this was a film which was overpowered by a huge name, a great cast but a pitch and story with was simply barely a notch above a TV movie and unable to live up to the expectations of which it would surly demand. Insomnia is Nolan’s failure and as his career continues to grow, it may not be his last but this also stands alone in his filmography as his most ‘Normal’ film, and this was surly his undoing.