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Movie Review: “Crime and Punishment”

The movie tells the tale of a man who goes through mental anguish as he searches for the meaning of his existence. Rodion Raskolnikov is a former student living in St. Petersburg and his living conditions are not good since he has no money, dresses in rags, and is sickly. His impoverished life makes him contemplate committing a crime where he plans to kill a pawnbroker for her money. After much thought and planning, Rodion goes to Alyona, the old pawnbroker, and kills her. Unfortunately, while he searches for the money her sister Lizaveta comes in and Rodion also kills her. What follows is a series of Rodion collapsing, getting confused, and feeling guilty (Golan).

Not being able to handle any more guilt, Rodion confesses to Sonya about the murders who convinces him to confess to the police. He is later accused of the murders but Porfiry lacks enough evidence to do an arrest. He rather urges him to confess and promises Rodion a lighter sentence. Later on, Rodion bids his family goodbye and confesses to a police officer, Ilya, about the murders. Rodion gets imprisoned in Siberia where he got eight years of hard labor. His friend Razumikhin marries Dunya while Rodion’s mother dies. He later realizes his love for Sonya and is remorseful for the crime (Golan).

The primary theme of this movie is alienation as seen through the life of Rodion who is the movie’s protagonist. He commits a crime in search of money with the view that it is a great move because he overhears a student favor the death of the pawnbroker. He alienates himself from his family, best friend, and even other people as he reflects on the act. With time, the guilt grows deeper and he pushes away people who want to help him including Razumikhin, his best friend, and Porfiry the police officer. All through the movie, Rodion is proud and alienated from humanity both before committing the crime and after confessing about it. The alienation ends when he discovers he loves Sonya.

Rodion and his best friend Razumikhin are similar in several ways. They both care about the Rodion family. Rodion visits his mother before he confesses and assures her that he will always love her. When Razumikhin realizes that Rodion is guilty, he reassures Dunya that he will be with her all through the hard times she will encounter. Also, Razumikhin confronts Rodion for causing his mother and sister pain.

The two characters love unconditionally. Despite Razumikhin being warned by Rodion against marrying his sister Dunya, he does not give up and is willing to stick around until they eventually got married. As for Rodion, he realizes later that he loves Sonya but even before that his love for her can be seen in his willingness to confess after Sonya urged him to do so. In fact, he almost backs down from confessing at the police station, but Sonya’s sight encourages him to proceed. This shows that he was willing to go to prison just because the woman he loved urged him to confess.

The two are different in terms of their acceptance of crime. Rodion willingly decides to commit a crime to get money. When the pawnbroker’s sister walks in on him, he kills her too which shows that he is violent and readily supports crime for his selfish interest. On the other hand, Razumikhin detests crime that he even detects guilt in Rodion even without him talking. If Razumikhin supported crime he would have helped Rodion execute the murders. However, he was not part of the crime.

Work Cited

Crime and Punishment. Dir. Menahem Golan. Perf. Crispin Glover, et al. 2002. YouTube.


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