7 user 4 critic

Crime and Punishment (1983)

Rikos ja rangaistus (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 2 December 1983 (Finland)
An adaptation of Dostoyevsky's novel, set in modern Helsinki. Slaughterhouse worker Rahikainen murders a man, and is forced to live with the consequences of his actions.


Aki Kaurismäki


Fyodor Dostoevsky (novel), Aki Kaurismäki (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Markku Toikka ... Antti Rahikainen
Aino Seppo Aino Seppo ... Eeva Laakso
Esko Nikkari ... Inspector Pennanen
Hannu Lauri Hannu Lauri ... Department Head Heinonen
Olli Tuominen Olli Tuominen ... Detective Snellman
Matti Pellonpää ... Nikander
Harri Marstio Harri Marstio ... Singer of the Restaurant Band
Pedro Hietanen Pedro Hietanen ... Pianist of the Restaurant Band (as Pedro's Heavy Gentlemen)
Hannu Lemola Hannu Lemola ... Drummer of the Restaurant Band (as Pedro's Heavy Gentlemen)
Kari Sorvali Kari Sorvali ... Sormunen
Pentti Auer Pentti Auer ... Kari Honkanen
Asmo Hurula Asmo Hurula ... Bartender
Risto Aaltonen Risto Aaltonen ... Painter
Tarja Keinänen Tarja Keinänen ... Mrs. Pennanen
Tiina Pirhonen Tiina Pirhonen ... Maid


An adaptation of Dostoyevsky's novel, set in modern Helsinki. Slaughterhouse worker Rahikainen murders a man, and is forced to live with the consequences of his actions. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Aki Kaurismäki's narrative directorial debut. He chose this project after reading François Truffaut's interview with Alfred Hitchcock, where Hitchcock claimed Crime and Punishment was the one book he would never adapt, because "it would be to difficult." Kaurismäki later admitted it was too difficult. See more »


Kari Honkanen: What are you doing here?
Antti Rahikainen: I came to kill you
Kari Honkanen: Why?
Antti Rahikainen: You will never know it.
[Rahikainen shoots Honkanen]
See more »


Remake of Crime & Punishment, USA (1959) See more »

User Reviews

Kaurismäki's audacious debut
24 August 2006 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

Normally, a filmmaker doesn't choose to adapt a literary classic for his first feature, as it might prove to be too hard. Aki Kaurismäki, on the other hand, did an excellent job with his directorial debut, a modern-day version of Dostoyevskji's Crime and Punishment.

At the beginning, we're guided through a slaughterhouse. This is where the protagonist, Antti Rahikainen (Markku Toikka), works. This particular environment suits the film, as it prepares us for its subsequent tone. Rahikainen takes the rest of the day off and breaks into an apartment. Once there, he kills an old man. Unfortunately, there's a witness: Eeva Laakso (Aino Seppo), who however refuses to turn in the murderer, thinking he will himself confess the crime eventually.

Of course, that doesn't happen. Police inspector Pennanen (Esko Nikkari) is dead certain of Rahikainen's role in the story, given there's a motive and all (the victim accidentally killed Rahikainen's fiancée by running her over with a car). But with no evidence and no collaboration from Eeva, there are few chances the killer will be arrested.

Kaurismäki has done a remarkable job on his first film, mostly because he nails the mood: he shows us the murkiest sides of Helsinki, and almost everyone depicted in the movie is cold and unemotional, a factor which adds to the unsettling nature of the story. There's little room for humor, with only a few exceptions: Rahikainen's best friend Nikander (Matti Pellonpää), struggling with English lessons, and the straight, serious delivery of some dialogue, most notably the first conversation between Rahikainen and Eeva ("What's wrong with him?" "Nothing. He's dead." "How did he die?" "I killed him.").

An excellent human drama, and also the beginning of a brilliant career. Those interested in Finnish cinema should give this a look.

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Release Date:

2 December 1983 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime and Punishment See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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