May 24, 2002
As a follow-up to his indie smash-hit Memento, Christopher Nolan has chosen to remake the Norwegian thriller Insomnia. Starring Al Pacino, Hilary Swank and Robin Williams, Insomnia is a psychological thriller about a cat-and-mouse game being played between a detective investigating a serial killer and the killer himself. During the course of the investigation, the detective's partner is killed and a second detective, charged with investigating the partner's death, becomes involved in what will surely be a nicely complicated plot with just enough twists to surprise moviegoers.
The original 1997 film was written and directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg and received excellent reviews across the board. Here's what Roger Ebert had to say about the film in a review in which he gave it three-and-a-half stars: "The movie is not a thriller or an action picture, but a psychological study...the look of the film is almost a character in itself." You can read the rest of his review here. This is certainly high praise for the original and bodes well for the remake. One can't help but draw parallels from the strengths of the original and the strengths of Memento, Nolan's previous work; it looks like it will play to his strengths.
The early previews of the film have been moody and mysterious, and the casting of Williams as the killer is itself a nice twist on the norm. Tentatively set for a Memorial Day release, Insomnia will most likely tap into the same audience that made Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider mild successes. It appears on the exterior to be another serial murderer story, but will most likely establish itself a notch above those other films.
A similar release to this film is 1993's The Vanishing, starring Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland. That not-so-well-received film was a remake of the critically-acclaimed 1988 French/Dutch thriller Spoorloos. The interesting thing about that release is that they share a director, and this could very well have contributed to the drop in quality of the film. Whether it was because of the inexperience of the director within the Hollywood system or any kind of production or language barriers, the film did not translate well. That is, of course, speculation at this point, but one hopes that the same stumbling block won't impede Insomnia. (Walid Habboub/BOP)
Comparison films for Insomnia
|Any Given Sunday
|Good Will Hunting