Insomnia

"Good cops can't sleep because a piece of the puzzle is missing, bad cops can't sleep because their conscious won't let them."…suffice to say detective Will Dormer, played to grizzled perfection by Al Pacino, doesn't get much sleep during the course of "Insomnia" as he slowly comes to terms with this duality, as well as the unflinching midnight sun. Confused?…don't be…for while "Insomnia" is just as compelling, dark and harrowing as Christopher Nolan's first masterwork, "Memento", it unfolds in a traditionally linear way. It just so happens that Dormer and Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan), two L.A. detectives, are o­n loan to the Alaskan police force ostensibly to assist with the murder investigation of a teenage girl, while their homicide department is under review by Internal Affairs back home. Matters get inextricably complicated, however, when Hap confides to his partner that he fully intends to cooperate with I.A. upon their return, before taking an even more tragic turn when Dormer mistakenly shoots and kills his partner while pursuing the erstwhile murderer. What follows is a taut game of cat and mouse between twisted killer Walter Finch (Robin Williams) and Pacino's Dormer as a sleepless and bedraggled Pacino wrestles with his guilt while being manipulated/blackmailed by the darkly maniacal Williams. Throw Hilary Swank in for good measure, as an intrepid, idealistic local cop, and you have an incredibly surreal, starkly realistic tour-de-force suspense thriller destined to garner numerous Oscar nods as well, as some well-deserved recognition for director Christopher Nolan.

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