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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Insomnia (1997)

A Swedish detective (Stellan Skarsgard) and his partner (Sverre Anker Ousdal) travel to Norway to assist a murder case, that of a 17 year old girl brutally beaten to death. A plan to trap the suspected killer (Bjorn Floberg) goes horribly wrong and the detective kills his partner instead. But was it an accident? The directorial feature film debut of Erik Skjoldbjaerg is a compelling thriller with a complex ambiguous protagonist at its core. Not only is he unlikable, he's downright disgusting! But Skjoldbjaerg isn't interested in a sympathetic portrait but rather the opaque moral culpability of a guilt consumed man. As Skarsgard impeccably plays him, we're never able to break through his glass wall while ironically, we're able to understand Floberg's equally vile murderer which renders his character more human. Unsettling on several levels, nonetheless a gripping suspense film that challenges you as it entertains you. An English language remake directed by Christopher Nolan came out in 2002. With Gisken Armand and Bjorn Moan.  

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