Monday, July 4, 2011


A disgraced Swedish detective and his partner, who are based in Oslo, are sent north to a small town in Norway in what is know as the land of the midnight sun to investigate the murder of a teenage girl. While setting a trap for the murderer, the two men give pursuit through the fog and the man accidentally shoots his partner. Deciding to cover up the shooting, he continues to work the case while becoming too involved with the suspect and the victim's best friend and not being able to sleep due to the constant sunlight and his nagging conscience, which in turn cause him to make mistakes and invite the suspicion of a female investigator. Insomnia is the debut film from Erik Skjoldbjaerg and is a very effective psychological thriller that makes great use of its Nordic locations and atmosphere. Stellan Skarsgard does fine work playing an off putting character. This movie was remade by Christopher Nolan in 2002 with Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank in the leads in another effective thriller, but I think think one is superior due to a few changes including a better ending and a sky ride taken between Skarsgard and the suspect which reminded me of the great Ferris Wheel scene in The Third Man (in Nolan's version it took place on a ferry). Either way, this is very good material pulled here by Skjodbjaerg and his company in fine, if disconcerting fashion.