Crime and Punishment (2002)

In Amazing, based on novel, BBC, Crime, film, period drama, Recommendation, Review on 14/08/2011 at 5:11 pm

Too many film makers do horrendous adaptations of classic novels. Very rarely, someone does a brilliant one. I’m a great supporter of good adaptations of classic stories; it’s the greatest means of keeping them alive. Not everyone is going to read Dostoyevsky, but this way we may all know what was great about what he created, at least in part.

This is an honest BBC masterpiece. It’s a two-part (200 min) film, giving the story just enough time to unfold and the characters enough room to come to life and engage you. The part of lead character Raskolinov is masterfully portrayed by the talented John Simm (Life on Mars, Exile, Doctor Who), but I shan’t fail to mention that the entire (quite starry) cast is impressive. As far as I can judge, for my knowledge of Russian culture is negligible, the customs, prejudices and humour of the time are incredibly well done.

Perhaps needless to say, Crime and Punishment is a story about a man who commits a crime and is later torn by an urge to try to get away with it and guilt. The reader, or viewer in this case, is left torn by not wanting to like a murderer but doing so anyway. That’s the genius bit.






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