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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as bad as critics say, June 27, 2003
This review is from: Crime + Punishment in Suburbia (DVD)
I'll admit, when I first heard that a movie based on Dostoevsky's novel was going to be released, but set "in suburbia" I was quick to dismiss the film as trash. My opinions seemed validated at the time, as almost every critic (with the exception of Roger Ebert) panned the film as an uninspired, pretentious mess.
So as I was browsing through the aisles of my local video store, I saw this film in the used bargain bin for a few bucks. Being in the mood for some campy, so-bad-it-makes-you-laugh fun, I bought this film, expecting it to be awful. Much to my surprise, the movie isn't that bad. While the writer took liberties with the source material, the director captured one of the main themes in the novel. It deals with conscience, guilt, and redemption in a way that was fresh, but those familiar with the book could see the parallels between film and book.
The main problems that I have read about this movie stem from the director's use of transitions and "chapter titles" to draw attention away from the film to the director. In addition, some have said that the movie takes itself way too seriously. For me, none of these were problems...in fact, I enjoyed the flair that the director showed, and the tone seemed to fit the subject matter. Yes, the film feels uneven at times, and no, it doesn't follow the novel to a T. But this was a throroughly enjoyable film that was undeservedly underrated.
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