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Fernando de Fuentes
Carlos López Moctezuma
Based on the novel by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevskiy "Bratya Karamazovi", it was his last novel which was supposed to be the first in a series but unfortunately was his last one. This ... See full summary »
A crime causes much grief and guilt for the young idealist Rodya Raskonlnikov (Dempsey) who cannot come around to confess his offense.
Beginning with the positives, Crime and Punishment has a fairly powerful cast with the exception of Patrick Dempsey. Julie Delpy plays an excellent Sonia, and Ben Kingsley could not have done a better Porfiry. The cast were great for their parts, unfortunately the actual movie wasn't too great in terms of quality film-making.
Without knowing any prior history to the movie (or the book for that matter), one can easily see that this was made for TV. The cheesy "spacing out" effects only used in TV are an abundance in Crime and Punishment. It is most noticeable in Rodya's moments of despair and depression. The overall impression of this version of Crime and Punishment is much more different than what I saw in my mind while reading the book. The words in the novel are dark, gritty, and full of heart. The movie is very simple and it's almost always in broad daylight! If anything, all scenes should be shot in nighttime 99% of the time since darkness relatively symbolizes desperation and grim moments.
Patrick Dempsey, as much of a sweetheart as he is, is NOT Rodya Raskolnikov. Rodya is a rough man, not a pansy. This was a complete casting error that ruined his character's complexity entirely.
For what it's worth, Crime and Punishment makes for a decent straight-to-television movie. If one is looking for justice to the book, let your imagination run wild. After all, an imagination is a much more powerful tool than a cheesy television film. Too much was changed in the transition from the book to the little screen. That was the crime. Watching this as a faithful Dostoyevski fan was the punishment.
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