Morality and Theology in "Crimes and Misdemeanors" Film Review

Morality and Theology in "Crimes and Misdemeanors"
An analysis of the characters' morality and theological questions raised in the film "Crimes and Misdemeanors", directed by Woody Allen.
# 153738 | 1,112 words | 0 sources | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 03, 2013 in Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.) , Religion and Theology (General)

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The paper discusses how through the characters of Judah and Cliff, the film "Crimes and Misdemeanors" expresses the theme of theodicy; why good things happen to bad people, and vice-versa. The paper emphasizes the morality of the characters' decisions and contrasts Judah's image as a wealthy killer with no remorse to Cliff's innocent and naive sense of love. The paper argues that Cliff is a perfect example of the cliche that bad things happen to good people.

From the Paper:

"Growing up, many people are taught that there is right and wrong, good and bad. All situations in life are either black or white; there is no such thing as a grey area. Moral dilemmas do not exist. Most people are also taught that these ideals come from a Divine Being, in most faiths that Divine Being is God. As people mature and are faced with life experiences, they begin to ask questions. How does God work? Is there only one correct answer, or is there a variety of ways to go about life? Will God punish them for going against what is written in the Bible? These questions can be summoned in one word: theodicy. Theodicy is literally the "Justice of God." A looser definition says that it encompasses the questions "Why do good things happen to bad people?" and "Why do bad things happen to good people?" In Crimes and Misdemeanors, Judah, a wealthy optometrist, has a life filled with bliss. He has money, a large house, a beautiful wife and kids, but that never seems to be enough. He has been carrying on an affair, but it becomes a nightmare when Dolores, the adulteress, decides not give Judah up without a fight. Judah's true nature becomes apparent when he swiftly has Dolores murdered to keep her from telling of the affair and of Judah's embezzlement issues. The viewer is left quite stunned and angered at how smoothly the murder goes. Cliff, a documentary filmmaker, appears to be quite the opposite of Judah."

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