I was interested in watching this because I love all of Chris Nolan’s other movies. I had thought that he wrote this but referencing IMDB, I see he was just the director. That makes sense because the plot is more straightforward that many of the movies he’s written, such as Memento, the Prestige, and Inception.
The beginning features a blurry figure wiping blood off his shirt cuff. This visual, as well as a super-closeup of blood saturating the fabric, becomes a theme whose importance is only explained as the movie reaches its climax.
Later, the main character’s conscience weighs on him as he tries to sleep through the Alaskan endless day. He begins to hallucinate and he questions his motives and whether he is the person he believes himself to be. This theme of perception versus reality seems to be central to Nolan’s films. He mixes the dreamlike with the quotidian. There is a scene where detectives chase a suspect through a thick fog. The fog comes out of nowhere, and the fleeing shadow seems like something out of a nightmare. All sense of place is lost in the fog, as well as a sense of identity. This sense of displacement is also seen in the detectives’ relocation from LA to Alaska, as well as the endless day they are subjected to. Finally, the increasing effects of the insomia results in the protagonist becoming displaced in reality.