In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle a Swedish murder investigator has been brought in on a special case. Sleep deprived, he makes a horrible mistake which is discovered by the killer he has been hunting.
In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle, a Swedish murder investigator is brought in to find an elusive killer. But when the officer accidentally kills his own partner and covers it up, a double sided game of cat-and-mouse ensues.Written by
Daniel Jos. Leary
Insomnia is a criminal thriller shot in the classic Scandinavian style, a combination we're only seeing rather recently. When a teenaged girl turns up dead in a landfill, a homicide team is sent up from Oslo to back up the local police, who are ill-equipped to handle such a murder owing to its infrequency. Above the Arctic Circle, the lead detective is like a fish out of water - the 24-hour daylight drives him crazy and he is desperate to get out.
The scenes have a cold, bare feel to them, like the shooting locations (Tromsø and environs) and the protagonist/antagonist, Jonas Engstrøm (Stellan Skarsgård). Stark is a good word - but it is effective, and also beautiful. Bjørn Floberg also turns in a solid performance as the prime suspect. I found Skarsgård's female foil (Gisken Armand) a bit cloying but that's not enough to bring the whole film down.
Skarsgård's intensity is impressive and captivating, and the dynamic between his character and the others (he is Swedish, they are Norwegian) helps keep you interested. It's interesting to see how being a murder cop hardens a person - whether that person is Norwegian, Swedish, or American doesn't matter.
I would definitely recommend this film. It's a powerful and beautiful work that deserves to be seen.
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