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Anyone with a love of Dostoyevsky's classic novel cannot fail to be
enraptured by this marvellous film. It captures the heart and soul of that
complex tale more closely than any other version. Perhaps this is because it
is Russian, for there are those who believe non-Russians require a leap of
imagination to grasp the meaning of Crime and Punishment. And I believe that
Dostoyevsky himself would have liked this film!
The picture is visually stunning and the casting is immaculate. Some of the performances are quite breathtaking; Georgi Taratorkin is totally convincing as the haunted, conflicted Raskolnikov, depths of emotions playing in his dark, expressive eyes; Maya Bulgakova tugs at the heartstrings as the wretched Katerina Ivanovna; Innokenti Smoktunovsky puts in a masterly performance as Porfiry, playing him with a regretful, fatherly air whilst Tatyana Bedova is simply sublime as a beautiful, fragile, holy Sonia.
It is a darkly claustrophobic film and flicking the pause button can seem like coming up for air - but that's the point - that's just how reading the novel feels! The film has been described as lumbering - but I longed for it to last even longer!
The print isn't the best quality and the subtitles are sometimes difficult to read - but persevere if you can...it's worth it...it's a masterpiece.
I recently read the novel for the first time and loved it. But I really
wanted to hear the characters speak in Russian and not in the faint
British accent I imagined reading my English edition. I don't speak or
read Russian, so a film with subtitles was my only option. Having no
experience with Soviet-era cinema, and as a child of the Cold War, I'll
admit I went into the viewing with far too many suspicions of this
"state sponsored" adaptation. I was pleasantly surprised by the obvious
respect with which the story was treated.
The film perfectly captured almost every nuance of the novel, such as Rodya's claustrophobic physical and mental existence as well as the bleakness of St. Petersburg's slums. The characters were all faithfully portrayed, except maybe for Svidrigailov. He seemed to be portrayed more sympathetically than I think Dostoevsky would have intended. While he certainly was a tragic figure, I didn't read him as being quite as gallant as he appeared in the film.
My only other gripe is one I've read on here somewhere else. There is no hint of the redemption Raskolnikov experiences which is so essential to the whole story. But don't let this, or any of the other comments on IMDb about the film's pace or length deter you from watching it. Anyone who loves the novel and yearns to hear the story told in its native tongue will find the experience a rewarding one.
Crime and Punishment is my favorite book, and so I've consciously kept away from any versions of the story. Apprehensively, I gave this Russian version a try (I trusted them more than American versions). It's a wonderful adaptation. Sonya is played by an actress who--if she's not a teenager--looks like a teenager. And none of the actors seem out of the age range they should be in. The film seems low budget, with few cuts in the scenes. But I say that referring to only the best of low-budget, arty films. The crowd scenes are full of people, giving the seamless look of fullness. If you are wondering which version to see, this is the one people.
I watched this movie when I was a child on TV and I rewatched it now, I think it's wonderful, everything is exactly how I imagined when I was reading the book I'm glad they stuck to the book and like someone said here I don't complain it's too long I wanna see it over and over again. The characters are portrayed very well but most of all I liked Georgi Taratorkin as Raskolnikov. I saw he's even born in Saint Petersburg exactly like the main character he's playing. I didn't see other adaptations even if they are many as I heard because I can imagine how they are... c'mon if you wanna see this you gotta see it made by Russians and in Russian language, it's their territory all the way... (by the way I spent a lot of time translating the subtitles cause the ones I found were very bad but I enjoyed it and it worth every minute) I would like to say more but I want to see it again which I advise you to do it too, bye.
Crime & Punishment being one of my favorite books, I've been trying to find a film adaptation that does the book justice. This is it! Prior to this version, I'd attempted to watch a couple American versions, which were loosely based on the novel but, of the few I found, I couldn't get through the first five minutes. This Russian adaptation, on the other hand, sucked me in immediately. Georgi Taratorkin was near perfection as the paranoid intellectual, Raskolnikov. On all accounts, the roles were well cast, the book's characters coming alive in three dimension on the screen. The screenplay also translated well from Dostoevsky's original, which is rare. And the film editing, though dated and in black-and-white, I would argue reflected the book's dark storyline. Great movie, and even greater book!
It is very interesting to compare this Russian version of "Crime and Punishment" with the Julian Jarrold version of 2002, since both are so outstandingly excellent, but in different ways. Also here all the actors' performances deserve nothing but praise, although some more than others, especially Georgi Taratorkin as Raskolnikov: he couldn't be more perfect, exactly as he is described in the novel, acting convincingly feverish enough all the way without overacting, while Sonia, Katerina and Dunia also are very well found, better than in the BBC production. The settings are also more than perfect, especially the den of Raskolnikov, better than in any other film and communicating precisely the correct atmosphere of the book. Rasumichin, Porfiry, the mother and Luzhin are less apt, Luzhin too much of a cad, Rasumichin too much dressed up, the mother like any mother and Porfiry as formal as a dummy. Here we enter the lacks of this film: it never really comes to life, it lacks the necessary dramatic touch, it is too stiff and formal, the lack of any music except sound effects gives it a certain sterility, and the scenography is entirely without imagination, like a formal theatre setting in the suburbs, although it's the same St. Petersburg so overwhelmingly well rendered in the BBC film. Still, Georgi Taratorkin is the best Raskolnikov you'll ever see, and you can't make a less than excellent movie on such a major masterpiece of world literature. Like the English film, the piety towards the original proves rewarding enough to to make the film a feature of paramount excellence.
Despite a 3 hour 40 minute running time, this film just scrapes the surface of Dostoevsky's great novel. It manages to lose all trace of the (usually bleak) humor that pervades the work and also every hint of the religious message that provides the underpinning of the story. Despite these reservations, this film is nonetheless worth seeing for the performances -- especially those of Georgi Taratorkin as Raskolnikov and Yefim Kopelyan as Svidrigailov. Innokenti Smoktunovsky appears as a quirky Police Inspector on Raskolnikov's trail. The film also does a good job of depicting the shabby milieu in which Raskolnikov lives. This is slated for release on DVD, one of these days, by Ruscico.
Russian literature continues to be celebrated as well as read in large numbers as it has always provided a fertile ground as well as ample opportunities to different filmmakers in order to make serious films which reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the human mind. There is hardly any educated person who has not books by great Russian writers such as Chekov, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, Tolstoy and Turgenev. Most talented directors working in the field of cinema have also adapted Russian novels for their films. The continual filming of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's classic novel 'Crime and Punishment' by directors from major film making nations is a proof of this trend. According to a rough estimate more than 40 film adaptations of 'Crime and Punishment' have been made since 1909. However, this particular film is considered the best rendition of Dostoyevsky's existential ideas due to its professional filmmaking techniques coupled with humane as well as sensible assimilation of all of this novel's major ideas in an ingenious screenplay for which director Lev Kulidzhanov collaborated with Nikolai Figurosky. Both as a film as well as a novel 'Crime and punishment' is extremely relevant to the humanity in the troubled times in which we are living especially if one were to consider 'money' as the root cause of all human suffering. Human suffering has not changed at all as even in the times depicted in the film innocent souls like Raskolnikov and Sonia had to suffer immensely as they lead lives of poverty. The eccentricities of human nature have also been vividly portrayed in this film as each character exhibits a peculiar form of behavior which might not be compatible with that of another character. Apart from being a virulent critique of money, 'crime and punishment' strongly presents the idea that for every crime there is bound to be a punishment. There is hardly any crime for which no punishment is given. All crimes carry punishments with them. This is the message which viewers of this film have to take regardless of their liking for it or not.
This Russian version -- didn't expect that much, especially being a
1970 movie - but it was free as an Amazon prime member. And Wow! - so
much more advanced than most 1970 movies stateside-- such realism, such
minute observations, so well capturing the essence of the lives and
small homes (hovels often) and wonderfully local faces. Unbelievably
great choice in cast-- and the best of all is Georgi Taratorkin who
plays Raskolnikov. First, he has a fascinating, beautifully chiseled
face that alone is enough to holds your interest throughout. And what a
masterful job he does, as if he is actually living through all the
torments and various other emotions that the character went
experienced. Not a false step (to the extent I can tell being dependent
I see on IMDb that Crime and Punishment is being made again in US (there many versions -- as with Anna Karenina, they just keep redoing ), but do not believe any could beat this film. Chilling yet beautiful.
By the way, IMDb says it is black and white. What I've watched on Amazon is in warm, rich, authentic-appearing color -- if colorized, not detectable as such.
First, I should admit that I have never read the novel on which this
movie is based. Therefore, I don't know how well I can review the
movie. But even so, I will say that "Prestupleniye i nakazaniye"
(called "Crime and Punishment" in English) really chills you. We see
how Raskolnikov completely loses his mind in the aftermath of his
deeds. The black and white photography - plus the bleak, eerie setting
- help give that feeling.
I don't know whether or not this is the best adaptation ever of Dostoyevsky's novel, but it's certainly not one that you're likely to forget. It's as chilling as St. Petersburg looks. I definitely recommend it.
PS: the name Rodion Raskolnikov describes his character. "Rodion" comes from the word meaning birth (implying rebirth), and "Raskolnikov" comes from the word meaning schism (implying mental breakdown).
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