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Two separate but interweaving stories of the moral choices made in crumbling marriages and marital infidelity are presented. An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife, while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated by another woman.
A relative of Hannah and Her Sisters in its duplex structure and of The Purple Rose of Cairo in its bitter theme, Crimes is two movies in one, a blend of Allen's satiric and pretentious dramatic styles.
The overall 'philosophical' thrust -- that good guys finish last and that crime does pay -- is designed to make the audience feel very wise, but none of the characters or ideas is allowed to develop beyond its cardboard profile.
Dramatically, the film seldom fulfils its promise, and its pessimistic 'moral' -- that good and evil do not always meet with their just deserts -- looks contrived and hollow. Intriguing and patchily effective, nevertheless.
The movie's secret strength -- its structure, really -- comes from the truth of the dozens and dozens of particular details through which it arrives at its own very hesitant, not especially comforting, very moving generality.