The Christopher Nolan remake of "Insomnia" surprisingly enough isn't well liked by everybody but generally speaking it is being regarded as one of the best crime-thrillers of recent years. I wonder how many people actually know it's a remake of this Norwegian movie, that was released 5 years earlier. Just like most people, I saw the remake before the original.

And the the invertible question which on is the better movie; the original or its remake. In this case I really have to say Christopher Nolan's. It does a better job at capturing the atmosphere and the sense of insomnia, that the main character is suffering from. And no matter how great Stellan Skarsgård is, he of course ain't no Al Pacino! Biggest or most significant difference between the two movie is, is that the remake is a longer movie and for some good reasons. It takes its time with its buildup, which enhances the movie its tension and mystery.

But it's of course not fair and perhaps even a bit silly to compare this movie to the remake because it of course got released first and is the original movie, which the superior 2002 got based on. And you could say it's pretty much a scene by scene remake, with only a few additions put into it. But I'll just judge this movie for what it is and pretend like I have never seen the remake.

When doing so, you'll have to say that "Insomnia" is one original movie within its genre. It starts off like any other typical genre movie, in which a policeman is flown in to solve a murder case. The story however soon starts to take some twists and it starts to become apparent that this is not going to be an ordinary case, in which the main character is the perfect, righteous hero, who'll solve the case cleanly.

The story is definitely the movie its biggest strength. It lets the movie distinct itself from anything else and its were all of the movie its surprises are coming from.

But what also helps are its cold, depressing, looking settings, in rural Norway, that set the entire mood and atmosphere for the movie. It adds to the whole mystery of the movie as well, though it isn't really the mystery or the murder that plays the most significant part in the movie. It more relies on its other dramatic developments and its characters, which all makes the movie a surprising and tense one at times.

In the end it doesn't really matter whether you have already seen the original or not and it also doesn't really matter that I consider the remake superior to this original. The movie simply remains a more than great and original watch within its genre.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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