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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!
It is a melodrama, with intelligence and with certain parts with a
brief touch of humor, but more importantly, without doubt, is the
ability of the actors to make you feel that the viewer is the
protagonist. You will get to feel the joy, the fear, the anguish they
felt in every part of this film.
Minghella is a smart director because he could renew and revolutionize epic films - romantic classic "The Inglés Patient" and "Cold Mountain". He gave an amazing insight to melodrama with "Breaking and Entering". And in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" follows in the footsteps of Hitchcock, with a magnificent film adaptation by Patricia Higsmith accessible prose without losing intelligence , showing the "dolce vita" Italian without losing the classicism of its scenarios, (In Naples, Ischia, Rome, Venice), also aspects related to their characters. Also leads a splendid cast, in which the trio is masterful in his best role Damon, repulsive and poignant, Paltrow totally emotional and real, Blanchet with an elegance and a package worthy of a classic movie star, Hoffman left and repulsive and Law doing such a good job that makes everything public to draw at Ripley's in one, envy, admiration, revulsion and anger it causes.
The film keeps you in constant tension. It also has very nice parts that fail to make the viewer gets excited.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(SPOILERS)Okay, so this movie has a couple of Oscar nominated
actors/actresses in it. IT STILL WAS BAD! Okay, so it was filmed in a
convincing atmosphere. IT STILL WAS BAD! Okay, so it was an attempt at
creating a throwback of some Hitchcock film. IT STILL WAS A BAD
MOVIE--although it was not the worst that I've seen.
First, I guess I'll discuss the good points of this movie--there are a few. I, like everyone else, enjoyed the scenery. This is because I could imagine a killer on the loose in such beautiful surroundings--for this movie, it adds "creepiness" (if that's what you would call it). Also, I, as anyone else I'd imagine, do not mind watching a movie that takes place somewhere I would like to be. It adds to the escapism that we all like to get from movies. The second thing that I enjoyed--most of all, in fact--was Mister Jude Law. I love him. He does well in any role that he portrays. Law was the only character that was amusing, or even interesting. This is sad to say, because the movie is called "The Talented Mr. Ripley"-not "The Talented Dickie" (Jude Law). I wanted to turn it off once Dickie was dead--and I knew that that point would come. I did like Matt Damon in the role, though, because he was so goofy and nerdish, that he was just odd, and easy to laugh at. I wonder if Ripley was meant to be so in the books. I could see why anyone would want to kill those characters--all of them. Cate Blachett was also good, but she has been so in all of her movies that I've seen, especially "Elisabeth" and "The Gift".
Although I like Damon, Blachett, and Law as actors, I did not like their characters. I did not like ANY of them. And the women--all of them--were made to look like some stupid beasts, running after their men of interest. The most obvious thing that a filmmaker must make sure of is that the audience can identify with, at least, one character in the film. I hated all of them! Especially Marge! Paltrow, contrary to what others have said, was perfectly cast! She was just so accepting, and blind, and weak--Paltrow personifies this, to me, in any character that she plays. I do agree though, that her acting, as always, was overrated, and overdone. Ripley should have killed Marge and let Dickie live.
I did not like the main character, either. I may not have been suppposed to, but I did not even sympathize with him. He was just some simpering, little, weirdo-nerd. He wasn't even cunning. He just killed--three times to be exact--in the stupidest and random ways. The fact that he bludgeones them is a sign of his un-calculating and random acts. Ripley was a murderer, only because he killed. He showed no intelligence while doing so. This movie took away all of the fun of watching a murder thriller. As I saw the murders he commited, I was like, "What is this?" it's due to a miracle--or a stupid script--that he wasn't caught!stupid! The premise was just STUPID! The one thing that I did understand was that Ripley is a psychopath!--but he was just so goofy!
In the beginning of the movie, I wondered "Where's the suspense?", I of course knew that he would kill Dickie. The (very mild) suspense came only after wondering when he would start to kill everyone else. He didn't kill anyone else of importance, except for Dickie's stupid, mumbling friend--I saw that coming, also. The whole movie dragged on and on, from one thing (I can't even remember what) to another. The stupidest part (I do remember), that should have been understandable, was when the concierge of the hotel fell for Ripley's matching himself to Dickie's ID. Once again, those people were all dumb! It's a movie about a stupid killer, who only got away with the murders because everyone else around him were far beyond stupid--I can't believe that rich people are that blind. I can't believe that I decided to watch them in this awful movie.
The movie consisted of long hours of nothing! And then, at the end, it was just a big, resounding, "WHAT?" I knew that was going to happen, too, but I just have to ask "WHY?". The answer, of course, is that the script or whatever was making it seem that Ripley (character and movie) is now something that he's (it's) not--interesting.
Yes, it was awful, although it was not the worst. Remember, the scenery and costumes and Jude Law. It should be redone. Ripley should be more cunning and smart, what's her name (Blanchett) should have been able to see through that Ripley, and Marge should have been killed, instead of Dickie, or Dickie could die later on--at the end. I can't help it, this movie stunk! I'll remember never to go see a movie just because the cast consists of Oscar winners.
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.
The Talented Mr. Ripley tells the story of the often-charismatic Tom Ripley
(Matt Damon), whose talents of impersonation, imitation and forgery combine
with self-hatred, and tempt him with the possibility of adopting a
Set in New York in the 1950s, the story introduces "the talented Mr. Ripley" as a modest young man who was hired to play the piano at an exclusive party. A wealthy shipbuilder mistakes him for an old classmate of his son and Princeton graduate, Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law). Worried and angered by his playboy son's lifestyle of wealth, freedom and diversion in the paradisiacal southern Italy, he urges Tom (and pays him) to travel to Italy and persuade Dickie to return home. Impressed by his own ability to fool the stranger, the talented Mr. Ripley travels to Italy and embarks on a risky journey of persuasion.
The beautiful landscapes (of Venice, Tuscany, the Gulf of Naples, and southern Sicily, among other locations); the friendly girlfriend, Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow); and the enviable popularity of the handsome Dickie (as with his "bon vivant" friend Freddie, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) overwhelm Tom and amuse the viewer. Motivated by a dangerously potent and well-repressed desire to possess the very lifestyle Dickie personifies (a desire which is subtly and shyly represented with scattered innuendoes of homosexuality), Tom realizes that being with Dickie is not as promising a reward as becoming Dickie. Parting from the overly simplistic premise and main character's motto, "it's better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody", The Talented Mr. Ripley focuses more on its main character's abilities than on his need for a different identity; a choice which does not allow for a fuller development of this potentially intriguing character.
Otherwise, the film successfully transmits the lifestyle Tom longs for, as a result of the better-defined character of Dickie, and of the desirability the actor Jude Law effectively projects.
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