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What a shame. The story had a lot of of promise but that dwindled quickly. In the beginning we're presented Mr. Ripley, who in every aspects wishes to be something he's not. He hopes to conform himself to the lifestyle of Dickie Greenleaf, and in doing so certain grows too attached to something he can never attain. The movie plods on through many gruesome instances and has the audience waiting for the end. I assumed often that the end was near, but no, I was not that fortunate. I had to sit through more of this dull movie. If I was one to walk out of a movie I would have left after about an hour. Instead I stayed. My recommendation: go for the first hour or so, you'll catch the good parts of the movie, then run!
This movie had great cinematography, superb acting and interesting ideas, but the pacing seemed off and it dragged quit a lot in places. I loved certain parts, but the over all structure of the movie felt weak. I know this is more of a character movie but the plot had almost no momentum at all which lead to a friend I was seeing the movie with to ask me "If I go to the bathroom do you think anything might actually happen...?" While every actor did fine job, Matt Damon was particular good, I had not thought him a very good actor before this picture and he rarely lives up to his talent afterwards. I think I may watch it again and would recommend someone else watching it as it is a challenging picture.
The book is great. It's one of my favorite books ever. The film, on the
other hand, is amazingly insipid and bad! When I heard Damon would play
Ripley, I knew this production was doomed. But I didn't expect it to be this
bad. The actors go around and act very showy. Except for Law (and even he is
guilty of some showy acting), all the actors here are near amateurish.
Speaking Italian and moving one's arms or hair about shouldn't be considered
as acting. Damon is miscast. He's way too stiff for a character that's
supposed to be a chameleon. Paltrow is forgettable and Hoffman plays yet
another effeminate slimy character. Talk about typecasting.
What's really unforgivable about the script (written by the overrated director) is that it completely forgoes every subtle details from the book and comes up with many of its own, and none of them work! The addition of the Jazz music stuff is totally WRONG! I guess Minghella's idea of Italy in the late 50s, early 60s is clouded with images of Chet Baker roaming the Italian countryside and spreading amore. Yep, Minghella is a true visionary. The film is so bleeding obvious. That silly scene when Ripley drives through the narrow street full of mirrors. Very laughable. Yes, we get the point!!! Every point or detail comes across a mile away, so much so that the film might give the audience the false impression that they have psychic powers. We know, for example, that the Blanchett character, introduced at the beginning of the movie, will return later on only complicate things. And the soundtrack, at times, is totally inappropriate. Whimsical when it shouldn't be. The film goes on for too long and in all sorts of pointless directions. There are too many boring characters populating the landscape (many that weren't in the book). This film is bad! Really bad!
Apparently, Minghella's son told his father that the Ripley novel was his favorite. Mr. Minghella then proceeded to direct it as a favor of sorts to his son. Well, the director did achieve what he set out to do: Talented Mr. Ripley, with its Hitchcock aspirations, is a film strictly made for 12 year olds!
Having been a fan of the Ripley books for some years, I was hopeful that
last someone had made at least a watchable adaptation of the most
sociopath in modern literature. So much for hope...
There was no point to the silly sub-plots, additional characters and various 'stuff' the film makers added to Highsmith's exceptionally elegant and sparse story. Perhaps someone felt they had to 'improve' on Highsmith (yikes!) in order to justify their paycheck. The effect is disastrous, making an interminable film longer than it needs to be. Worse, now no one can have a whack at it again for 20 years or so!
Matt Damon seems like he was willing to perform, but slid into being boring instead of being understated. The characterization of Dickie as a playboy is unfortunate, but at least Jude Law shows signs of life. Miss Paltrow's Marge is far too knowing, rather than puppet-like. We are deprived of the uncomfortable sensation we feel in the book when she succumbs to Ripley's story. Cate Blanchett does as best she can, with a character that never existed in print and isn't even needed for the film.
Ripley is far more subtle than the over-baked re-telling given it by Minghella and Co. For example, why start him off living in abject poverty? Highsmith smartly had him already toying with an underground career when Mr. Greenleaf pursues him, knowing that he went to school with Dickie. The Highsmith setup makes for a much more interesting 'acquaintance becomes a devil and takes over your life' dynamic. Further bad choices are made concerning the coup de grace and ensuing action. The demise of Dickie, THE CENTRAL MOMENT OF THE STORY, is awkwardly contrived, seeming to come from nowhere and feeling out of place rather than organic and plausible. Perhaps this is the consequence of the bad plot leads going before, and poor filmmaking choices that leave the film's texture uneven.
Read the book instead.
Matt Damon plays Tom Ripley in the movie the "The Talented Mr. Ripley".
Tom is an underachiever with a career as a bathroom attendant. Working
as a piano player Tom Ripley needs a jacket so he borrows one with a
Princeton patch. Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) who mistakes Tom for
a Princeton student and engages in conversation with him approaches
him. Soon the conversation turns to Herbert's son Dickie Greenleaf,
played by Jude Law, and his carefree life style in Europe. Herbert
begins to trust Tom and soon offers him a job to go to Europe and bring
Once in Italy we see Tom's true talents and his multi personalities come out. Tom soon befriends Dickie and Marge Sherwood, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Now living a life of privilege Tom is willing to do anything to keep that life. Matt Damon plays this character wonderfully. Tom is an indifferent, cold hearted, and immoral individual who will lie, cheat, steal, and even murder to achieve his goal. Throughout the movie, Tom invents stories to create a beautiful life the viewer can sense he did not live. There is also vulnerability in Tom and a need to be a better person by assuming another identity Tom sees as worthy.
In the film, Tom longs to be close to Dickie and create a true friendship with him. Tom is even tempted to tell Dickie the truth about his past. However, as the rich often do, Dickie tires of Tom and is soon dismissing his relationship with Tom. Dickie turns cruel and accuses Tom of becoming a parasite and a fraud. This trait in Dickie has the viewer feeling as if Dickie is using Tom so to the viewer Tom becomes the hero. As the hero, the audience is elated when Tom eludes the authorities and escapes justice. The movie theme is about understanding and accepting oneself no matter how life has treated you. Dickie had wealth and power yet was selfish with little to no concern for an individual's feelings. Tom grew up wanting to be something he was not and had an overwhelming need for others to see him as perfect. For those who find this theme represented to dramatically the same theme can be found in the 1948 musical film "The Pirate" with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. Throughout the film, the lighting was used to express a desired mood or tone in the storyline. A prime example of this was Tom and Dickies first meeting. Dickie is shown in the sunlight as tan, fit, and almost as if, he has a glow around him. While Tom is, pale and looks out of place on the bright beaches of Italy. This is symbolic to represent Tom as an outsider looking in on Dickie's world. This gives the viewer an insight as to how desperate Tom is to enter the sunlight. The film angle also created the desired effects throughout the movie. Tom wants to be Dickie and several camera angles catch Tom studying Dickie. In the scenes the viewer can comprehend, Tom wants to monitor every movement so he can imitate them. The best example of the camera angle supporting the theme can be found during the last train ride Tom and Dickie share. The movie audience can watch Tom's reflection in the mirror due to the camera angle. This scene captures how well Matt Damon has played this troubled character. Tom lies next to Dickie and takes large whiffs of him. Tom is almost sucking the life out of Dickie so that he might truly become him. Thanks to the lighting and camera angles, the mover viewer can understand Tom and his struggle to be accepted by society. These film tricks bring the theme to life and the audience supports Tom as the victim instead of the murder.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have just one thing that is giving me the absolute irrits about this film and that is the situation leading up to the murder scene or dickie.....why go out in a small boat, just the 2 of u and proceed to tell a guy u hate him, that u basically don't like him anymore and not expect him to lash out?????? of course ripley was going to do something, i mean he wasn't that much of a wuss....only that scene irritates me out of a very good movie non the less.
When I discovered that this movie was playing in theaters. I didn't care to
see it, since it looked uninteresting to me; nevertheless, after finding out
it was directed by one of my favorite directors - Anthony Miguella - I
rented it as soon as I could. Anthony Miguella's movies are amazing. I
really felt over the course of the movie that Anthony Miguella directed it,
since it seemed like the superb film "The English Patient". "The talented
Mr. Ripley" is rather fascinating. It's very well told and acted. Matt Damon
was amazing in portraying Mr. Ripley. He seemed like a very kind and shy man
at the beginning of the movie, but after going to Italy he shows his true
intentions - The way he always lied was incredible. I never thought a person
could be so unscrupulous to ensure his success. You'll certainly see the
differences among many personalities in this movie. Matt Damon was amazing;
he really acted quite well. He was plausible and mysterious as Mr. Ripley.
His performance made me so intrigued to find out what his end would be. I
really didn't like Matt Damon's performance in "Good Will Hunting" that
much; nevertheless he carries out his role admirably in this movie.
As for Jude Law, I think he is amazing as well. He envelops himself into the role quite well. He'll make you follow this movie without disliking it; his academy award nomination was really well deserved.
As for Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett, I think they were completely outstanding; they are both great actresses. Gwyneth Paltrow won an academy award winner for best actress in a leading role in "Shakespeare in love" in 1999. As for Cate Blanchet, she won an academy award nomination for best actress in "Elizabeth" in the same year.
The plot is rather good and interesting, the movie is beautiful visually; it was amazing to see Europe. I really like when Tom Ripley kills Dickie on a boat by hitting him with the oar. It's impressive when Dickie's face starts to bleed. I never thought a shy man like Ripley would become a killer. The way he lies to everybody to avoid the truth being revealed is thoroughly depressing; however, it shows us that lies take us nowhere. This is a good life lesson. Even though it's a good movie, I think the ending was somewhat disappointing and depressing, since I was waiting for something to happen at the end, but nothing happened. It showed us that Mr. Ripley felt Remorse because of all the things he did.
Overall, This is not as great as `The English Patient', but it's beautifully filmed and well done. 7/10
After I saw 'Shakespeare in Love', I was so wondered of Gwyneth Paltrow that I decided to see another movie with her. I chased 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' the film she made after 'Shakespeare...' Gwyneth's performance was good but the story was complicated and confusing. Jude Law was very remarkable in his role, he gave a very good performance maybe the best of all the actors. Also the small part of Cate Blancett who played Queen Elizabeth in the same named movie. Matt Damon's part was good acted but also very confusing and I don't understand some things in the movie.
But I am very grateful that actors like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude law, Matt Damon... are put in one film together it isn't such a good film but there are always good- and weak movies. But the director, actors and the crew are still very professional people who can make very big & good movies.
--->It's a film that you have to see twice when you will understand it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Those of you who haven't read the book should really do so before
watching the film.
How can anybody not have gotten around to reading these books yet? However, I digress.
Why wasn't I bowled over by this? Simple answer. Tom Ripley may have bisexual leanings but he's not hysterical. The key turning point in the book is a premeditated murder but this adaptation portrays it as a crime of passion. The truly chilling aspect of his character in Highsmith's novel is the ease with which he plans and executes this murder, presumably his first.
This threw me completely. I didn't expect the film to be able to get things like Tom's poor opinion of Dickie's Italian but I thought getting the motive right would have been possible.
But for the changes to Tom's character I though the film was actually quite good. Philip Seymour Hoffman was superb as Freddie Miles. The opening sequence was a bravura piece of film-making, expertly edited by Walter Murch. The potentially confusing plot and web of coincidences was handled quite well.
But after the murder I just kept on thinking of how off the mark the film was.
I acknowledge that this was a very good film, with superior acting throughout. And I normally like to view such films three and four times, both to pick up what I might have missed the first time, and to savor again that which I enjoyed in the first viewing. But I confess that once was enough for me on this one -- it made me too uncomfortable to contemplate a second time. Of course, this is probably a testimonial to how good a movie it is, and I'll throw in the towel and concede the point--[there may be a child in my neighborhood who is exceptionally fine at pulling the wings off of living butterflies] -- but I don't ever want to watch it, and I don't want to see this movie ever again.
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