Friday, November 5, 2010

Insomnia (1997)

Norwegian filmmaker Erik Skjoldbjaerg makes his directorial debut with the psychological police drama Insomnia. Swedish homicide detective Jonas Engström (Stellan Skarsgård) and his partner, Erik Vik (Sverre Anker Ousdal), arrive in a small Northern Norwegian town to help the local police investigate the murder of a teenage girl. When Jonas finds the girl's backpack, he sets a trap for the killer near a remote shed. While waiting to make an ambush in the morning fog, Jonas accidentally shoots Erik. He knows it was only an accident, but he decides to keep it a secret because he could lose his job. Jonas chooses to carry on with his investigation while trying to cover up the evidence of Erik's death. Meanwhile, he's unable to get any sleep due to the constant sunlight of the Norwegian summer and his increasingly guilty conscience. His only help comes from highly intuitive local police officer Hilda Haugen (Gisken Armand), who begins to form her own doubts about Jonas. As he continues to lose his grip on the case at hand, he becomes dangerously close to the suspects, Jon Holt (Bjørn Floberg) and Frøya (Marianne O. Ulrichsen). Filmmaker Christopher Nolan directed the English-language remake of Insomnia in 2002 with Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 97 mins
Insomnia (1997)

After recently watching all of the Dexter series on DVD, it was natural to see the same aspects with the detective especially with respect of getting too close to the perpetrator. The perp also was meticulous about covering up evidence that could implicate him. He also seemed to confess that he had been doing it for 20 years because fiction became too boring to him and wanted real life situations.

Although this was not one of the best films I have watched recently, it still portrayed the frustration with not getting any sleep and his anguish over killing his partner better than the remake version. Also, there seemed to be a certain sexual tension that the remake did not have, probably due to ratings considerations. Like in one scene the detective fiddles with the teenage girl in his car and we see her having sex with the victims boyfriend later on. The detective watches the scene from behind the door as he was interrupted leaving the murder weapon under his bed.

Nothing special for the special features on the disc, but the disc comes with a small pamphlet which has the following passage:
,Skarsgard creates a man who is outwardly assured while harboring profound insecurities within. He cannot handle any kind of intimacy, nor can he come to terms with his responsibility for the death of Vik. He sustains his identity by adhering to certain moral precepts; once he has broken one of these principles, he becomes truly dangerous...
Sounds like Dexter, or at least some of killers he gets rid of.

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