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Insomnia

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Saw this one with my mom.

Robin Williams plays the bad guy, and Al Pacino the cop chasing him. They did a good job with Williams' character. He was pretty much a normal guy who just barely crossed the line and couldn't get back.

The name of the movie comes from the common affliction when people travel north of the arctic circle in the summer. The first time someone travels into 24 hours of sun they can't sleep. The story takes place over the course of about six days, and Pacino is slowly losing his judgement from lack of sleep.

They did a very good job of portraying highway hypnosis in a scene near the end. I was impressed with the technique. The bits in the hotel room might have been a good portrayal of that portion of insomnia, but it didn't strike the chord in me that the other did.

The story starts off with Pacino and his partner coming up to this little town to help investigate the murder of a teenage girl. After the opening where they meet the local cops, they start on some back story that Pacino and his partner are in some sort of Internal Affairs trouble back at their home dept. Pacino accidentally shoots the partner, which would have appeared very suspicious with their other troubles.

The rest of the movie is Pacino trying to cover up his mistake and frame Williams for the shooting. Problem is, Williams is a mystery writer, very familiar with police techniques and able to plant his own evidence to muddy the trail and point it in the general direction of Pacino. He knows the truth about Pacino's mistake and is using that to blackmail him.

There's a lot of, "What's the right thing to do?" in this story. At what point do the means outstrip the end? I mean, it was an accident. And the other guy is guilty of the original crime. But how guilty? How similar is Pacino's accident to Williams'? And over all this is the pall of a single previous indiscretion.

On Mighty's Baby Brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Rental with dinner. A sort-of murder mystery that's really a morality play, I guess.


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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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