Set in present day Japan in a provincial town, Bunzo Kurosawa, a greedy and violent father, is murdered in his own home. Bunzo has 3 sons: oldest son Mitsuru (Takumi Saito), second son Isao... See full summary »
Clayton, at the age of nineteen, is convicted for a crime he did not commit. Ten years afterwards, after having taken all the abuses against him in prison, he decides to escape, without ... See full summary »
The young Jeremiah grows up in a priest's family in the village of Anathoth, near Jerusalem. God appears to Jeremiah in different human guises on several occasions, and makes it clear to ... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer
A High powered NY litigator, hired to defend a murderer who avenged his young son's death, struggles with his own desires for success versus the moral wishes of his client to choose the ... See full summary »
TV police drama with strong emotional content and heavily stylized direction. This included 'talking heads' segments where an unseen questioner interviews characters about their actions, ... See full summary »
A young Catholic couple contemplating marriage gets divided by their separate heritage - she's rich and he's the son of a butcher. However, the real pressure comes on them when a publicity ... See full summary »
This TV movie is an excellent adaptation of the classic novel by Dostoyevsky. This is the story of Rodya Raskalnikov (Patrick Dempsey), an intellectual who is suspended from University and is living in poverty in 19th century Russia. Raskalnikov believes that in order for great men like Napoleon to accomplish great things, they must be above the law.
With this as a psychological backdrop, he gets the news that his sister has been discharged from her governess position and she is considering marrying a rich man she doesn't love to keep the family from starving. He reasons that he, being a great man, must take action to prevent this travesty. So he decides he should kill his pawnbroker, a despicable woman who preys on the misfortune of others, and take her money to save his sister from prostituting herself in this terrible marriage. He reasons that the pawn broker deserves to die anyway, and that his sister's future is far more important. The remainder of the story is a study in the torment and guilt he feels, and from which he cannot escape intellectually.
The film remains true to the novel, which is one of the classics of Russian literature. It is well directed, filmed in Poland to give it an authentic eastern European look. Joseph Sargent does an excellent job of capturing the rank poverty of the time in contrast to the opulence of the privileged.
This is Patrick Dempsey's shining moment, by far the best I've ever seen him. He does a terrific job of capturing the overwrought Rodya's agony and emotional distraction. Although Dempsey was sometimes overly manic in his portrayal, this is one of the most complex characters in literature and it is impossible to imagine anyone getting him just the way Dostoyevsky wrote him. Dempsey has come a long way since the Woo Woo Kid (`In The Mood', 1987).
Ben Kingsley was also terrific as the wily police chief who suspects Rodya of the crime, but with no evidence, cleverly manipulates his psyche to make the guilt unbearable.
I rated this film a 9/10. It is no substitute for reading the novel, but in comparison to most of what is on the market, this is a gem. Most refined viewers will not regret renting this film.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?