Al Pacino stars as a veteran homicide detective sent to Alaska to aid an inexperienced local in investigating a murder. But Al soon finds himself overwhelmed by the relentless daytime and suffering from insomnia caused by his guilt over Eckhart’s death.
Dormer struggles with insomnia as an anonymous suspect calls him from the beach and claims they saw Dormer shoot Eckhart. An understanding voice admits to suffering from the same insomnia Dormer is now experiencing and suggests they collaborate in a game of deception, each side trying to pin the crime on the other.
The film’s central message is a humanist one: do what feels right in the moment. Unfortunately, this philosophy can have unintended consequences.
Christopher Nolan’s remaking of Erik Skjoldbjaerg’s Norwegian original is an impressive accomplishment, though it doesn’t always succeed on its own terms. Nolan’s focus on intent–what happens when someone kills for their own reasons–can become a distraction and fails to explore how intent can shape our lives in meaningful ways.
Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank star as excellent supporting cast members in this underrated movie that may be forgotten among Nolan’s later works, yet it still manages to be surprisingly deep and thoughtful. Worth the effort for its emotional resonance alone – this is a welcome change from typical summer popcorn fare.