Insomnia (2002)

Happy Memorial Day everyone.  The Memorial Day Movie Binge Watch Weekend continued this morning with a film starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams called Insomnia.

Alaska can be problematic.  Days of light without a sign of darkness can really mess with your psyche.  There is a scene here where Pacino’s character wants to go to the school and interview a suspect, but the other local police officers told him that it was 10 PM despite the bright sunshine outside.

However, there was not only the endless days that wound up messing with Will Dormer (Al Pacino).  His recent actions had caused him to suffer through a bout of insomnia.

Dormer had come to Alaska to aid in an investigation of a murdered teenage girl, beaten to death.  He bought his partner Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) with him, a partner who was preparing to give information about Dormer to Internal Services.

During the investigation in pursuit of a suspect, accidentally shoots and kills Hap.  Dormer decides to keep the truth of the shooting to himself.

Robin Williams plays the killer.  This was one of the early examples of Williams going for different type of characters that he was not normally recognized for.  This came out about the same time as One Hour Photo, and Williams was amazing at how warped he could be.  You never once wonder why he is playing these parts.  He fits perfectly.

Al Pacino is great here too as he plays a detective struggling with his conscience over his deeds and a man whose mental capacities are being affected from a lack of sleep.  There are also strong performances from Hillary Swank as an Alaskan detective who is a fan of Dormer and Maura Tierney as the owner of the hotel Dormer is staying at.

Then, former General Hospital star Jonathan Jackson was here as the creepy boyfriend of the murdered girl.  Jackson does his normal great job.

This psychological thriller dives into the mental problems of guilt and the physical stress of sleep deprivation.  Great performances from Pacino and Williams really carry the film and you are never sure exactly what they may do.


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