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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!
This is an odd film. The first hour sets up Matt Damon's character,
"Tom Ripley," to do what he eventually does, kill someone and then
imitate the rich kid off in Europe. However, to be fair, his murder of
friend "Dickie Greenleaf" (Jude Law) is almost made to look like
self-defense. It's an odd scene in this odd movie. As the story
unfolds, however, "Ripley" is shown to be a sick killer, hardly some
innocent man caught in some self-defense predicament.
The second half of the film deals with Damon's character trying to get away with his scheme while other people slowly start to question who he is and what he's doing. Some people trust him; some don't. A few twists make the story even more interesting. The only facet that didn't appeal to me were the overt homosexual overtones in this film which were prevalent throughout Damon's relationships with a couple of men, although nothing sexually was ever done and even though these guys also had girlfriends. Speaking of the latter, Gwyneth Paltrow is good in here as "Marge Sherwood," someone who is ahead of the pack when it comes to uncovering the truth. Cate Blanchett is good, too, as usual, but her role was much smaller and one I'm not sure was all about.
Overall, this is intriguing drama-crime story with a lot of suspense and done so without a lot of violence. All the characters in this movie grab your attention. Combine that with good European scenery and involving storyline and you have a movie worth investigating.
I read where this film also goes under the title, "The Strange Mr. Ripley."
Based on the pulp novel by Patricia Highsmith, this psychological
thriller combines elements of classic Hitchcock with some of the best
actors of the time. Ordinary Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is a sociopath who
befriends Dickey Greenleaf (Jude Law), a jazz-loving, womanizing
golden-boy from a wealthy family. The two cross paths while vacationing
on the Italian Riviera. Tom is sent by Dickey's disapproving father to
bring him back to the U.S. The two have nothing in common, yet, Tom
manages to manipulate his way into Dickey's life and soon Dickey is
unable to get rid of him.
Like a Hitchcock thriller, this film is filled with plot twists, interesting characters and dynamic scenery that keeps the story rolling until the surprise ending.
Also, not to be missed: "Purple Noon." Filmed in 1960, this is the French version of The Talented Mr. Ripley and stars a very sexy Alain Delon.
The Talented Mr. Ripely is a brilliant movie with a really well
developed storyline and an outstanding cast.It is an absolute thrill
ride from start to finish,from the moment we meet Tom Ripely we do feel
a sense of danger,as if this man may not be as innocent as he
appears,but what is to come is totally unexpected and this is easily
one of the most unpredictable films I've ever seen,I couldn't tell
anything that was coming,Ripely is a very strange character and you
really don't know what he's capable of.The cast is outstanding, this
character is nothing like any other role Matt Damon has played and he
does a terrific job of conveying an anti-hero that the audience will
support but feel bad as they're doing it, joining him are several other
terrific actors,including Gwyneth Paltrow,Jude Law,Cate Blanchett and
Phillip Seymour Hoffman,each of their performances and characters
provide a huge contribution and important plot points to this film.It
will keep you at the edge of your seat and you won't be able to see
whats coming,I would recommend the Talented Mr. Ripely to anyone
looking for a good thriller.
Tom Ripely is sent to Italy to retrieve a US playboy,but his mission takes an unexpectedly dark turn when things don't go his way.
Best Performance: Matt Damon Worst Performance: Jack Davenport
If you have any recommendations on films/TV series I should watch or review,or any questions to ask me,just tweet me @DillonTheHarris
it is as a clock. each piece, each move is part of a splendid work. result - a rare film who is more than a show but a kind of travel in your fears, ambitions or expectations. Jude Law does a splendid role and Matt Damon is far to be a surprise but he remains a fascinating artist using each detail with high precision of his role. a great virtue - the Italian atmosphere. and the manner to present, step by step, the success of a thief using the mixture of fascination and curiosity of viewer. more than a film, it is an useful meeting . maybe with the dark part of yourself . that is all. at first sigh because , at the new meeting, new details transforms the first impressions.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So much to love about this movie. From the beautiful locations to the
totally accurate glimpse of WASP society, ending finally on just how
frightening a bland smile and obsequious nature can be, this film has
it all. Great acting by Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Matt Damon.
But the best role of all, in my opinion, is the small supporting role played masterfully by Philip Seymour Hoffman. The way he played his character, Freddie Miles, is perfect-- a condescending, jaded, supercilious preppy who has seen (and probably) done it all. Freddie is supremely bored, cynical, and has a real mean streak. When he focuses his golden laser beam of ridicule onto Tom Ripley (Damon), you realize right away (as does Ripley) that the jig is, if not up, then threatened. I squirmed with delicious discomfort whenever Freddie taunts Ripley--my favorite being "Tommy, Tommy, Tommy, How's the peeping?" and of course the best line of all, "I think I'm SAYING it". Superb.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was an absolute genius and never overplayed or hit a false acting note in anything I've ever seen him in. I don't usually feel anything when a celebrity dies more than "Oh, that's too bad/weird/expected." When I learned of his death, however, it actually hurt inside. All that great acting we'll never see again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Talented Mr. Ripley is ominous and foreboding, suspenseful and
exciting, slow and emotional. The movie has as many facets as Mr.
Ripley has talents, and it takes the viewer through an interesting and
The movie is set in the late 1950s and begins just as Tom Ripley--if that is his real name--begins his grand act of deception. The movie is based on a series of novels written by Patricia Highsmith that are centered on Mr. Ripley.
Tom Ripley, who is played by Matt Damon, deceives a man into believing that he knows his son well. That man decides to send Tom to Italy to retrieve his son, Dickie Greenleaf. Dickie, who is played by Jude Law, is privileged and arrogant, but he is also adored by those who know him. His father believes he has been sailing and schmoozing in Italy for far too long. Dickie's father promises to pay Tom's travel expenses and award him $1,000 to return with Dickie. Tom readily accepts the offer.
The first scene that intrigued me was when Tom lands in Italy. He meets a pretty American girl named Meredith, played by Cate Blanchett, and he introduces himself as Dickie Greenleaf. I almost did not catch the lie at first, and I nearly forgot about it when Tom says goodbye to Meredith, returns to being Tom Ripley, and goes to meet up with Dickie. Tom pretends to meet Dickie by chance and tells him they knew each other in college. Dickie is with his girlfriend Marge, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and, of course, he does not recognize Tom.
Tom builds his talents for deception while making his way into Dickie's life, but he uses the truth of his mission to gain Dickie's trust. They quickly become friends. Everything seems to be going well for Tom, and it is at this point that I began to empathize with him because of his eagerness to participate socially and his obvious fear of loneliness.
As he and Dickie become closer, Tom's attraction for Dickie becomes palpable. At the same time, Dickie takes note of Tom's infatuation and tries to brush him away by spending time with other friends. In a scene that left me shocked and confused, Tom's jealousy and passion overwhelm him while he and Dickie are sailing. They are arguing because Dickie tries to tell Tom he doesn't think that they should be friends anymore, and that Tom should return to America. Tom strikes Dickie with an oar and, after a scuffle, Tom beats Dickie to death. Tom cries as he hugs the bloodied corpse, once again leaving me unsure of Tom's plan--if he even has a plan.
Tom's journey truly begins as he starts to cover his tracks and decides that his only option is to attempt to steal Dickie's life. Tom tells Marge that Dickie is just taking time away. He tells those who know him as Tom that Dickie is away, and he tells others that he is Dickie. He cashes Dickies checks and lives in his home.
The other characters become pieces in Tom's game and he manipulates them to support his web of lies. Tom murders again when Dickie's friend, who has met Tom as Tom, is on the verge of discovering Tom's ruse. Once again, the murder does not seem predetermined, and Tom does it out of necessity because he cannot stand to lose his new lifestyle. Tom's lies and murders begin to spiral out of control as the police become involved. I found myself wondering if Tom would have to kill everyone in Italy that knew Dickie. I also began to empathize with Tom's delusional scheme because he seems to only want attention and affection from others.
Dickie's friends become increasingly worried about his absence, and Dickie's father travels to Italy and hires a private investigator. Just as Tom's evil plan is about to break apart, Tom gets away clean. Tom forges a suicide letter from Dickie, and the police and private investigator come to conclusions that leave Tom innocent.
Marge is the only person who suspects Tom, but she has become emotionally distressed and no one believes her. Dickie's father even leaves Tom some of Dickie's trust fund. Tom murders one last time as the movie ends. A man who had become his lover poses one last threat to his discovery because he still knows him as Tom, and others that know him as Dickie are aboard the same ship. Tom smothers him while crying to himself.
I found this movie to be thrilling, and honestly, confusing. I could watch it again and again and probably absorb some new, interesting aspect each time. Matt Damon gives a great performance that shows range that I have not seen in his later performances. I wish that I had seen this fantastic work of art earlier, and I am eager to read the books it is based on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is a con-man, who's finagled his way into the
lives of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), and Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth
Paltrow) who are living in Italy, by convincing Dickie's father (James
Rebhorn), that he can persuade Dickie to come back to the States.
Instead of convincing Dickie to return home, Tom befriends Dickie, and Marge, and begins living with them, on Dickie's Fathers Dime. As time passes, Dickie becomes less and less enamored with Tom, and the two have an argument, which ends with Tom killing Dickie, on a boat, in the middle of the ocean.
Tom covers his tracks as best as he can, and begins posing as Dickie, using his passport, clothes, and financial means to better himself. Dickie's long time friend, Freddie Miles (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who Tom had met while Dickie was still alive, begins to poke around into Dickie's disappearance, but things get too hot for Tom, and he also kills Freddie.
Tom pens a suicide note, after studying Dickie's handwriting for sometime, and addresses it to himself, leaving it in Dickie's apartment, which the police later find, and read. No one is convinced that Dickie killed himself, and his Father even goes so far as to hire a private detective to investigate the matters, but he clears Tom later.
During Dickie's 'disappearance,' Peter Smith-Kingsley (Jack Davenport), Dickie and Marge's friend comes to stay with Marge while this is going on. He's eventually introduced to Tom, and the two hit it off, becoming fast friends, as no one suspects Tom. Eventually, Tom and Peter leave together (this is a few weeks later, after no culprit for Freddie and Dickie's murder has been found), on a boat, where he later kills Peter.
I found this film quite engrossing. It was a bit lengthy, with a 2 Hour- 19 Minute runtime, but it was quite enjoyable, overall. Dark, comedic, and dramatic, everything I look for in a film. Matt Damon really showed me range in this film, which is already nearly 15 years old.
7.7/10 (7.3/10 on IMDb)
This was my first introduction to Matt Damon yet as brilliant as his
performance is Gwyneth Paltrow's stuck with me. Her terror, horror and
panic when confronting Tom in his room and finally understanding what
had happened was so real as to be inspire awe in me. That is when I
realized I was watching a major talent. Having seen Matt Damon movies
since that first viewing I see that I had watched two major talents in
a movie that was the work of genius. Everything came together in a
perfect storm to produce a perfect movie.
The story unfolds inexorably as it slowly at first and then quickly rushes towards its logical conclusion. Although there could only be one outcome it never seemed foregone to me until we reached the culmination of everything that had gone before.
To know Tom Ripley is to hate him yet only Marge and Tom see the real Ripley.
This film is absolutely riveting from the first moment to the last. Matt Damon is positively smashing as Tom Ripley, grabbing the audience immediately and never letting go. You're with Tom every minute no matter what he does and he does plenty. Damon may very well be straight in real life, but here you never believe for a moment that he is, no matter who's in his arms - male or female. Damon's pan-sexual persona is so powerfully played out here that you wouldn't mind hopping in bed with him if half given the chance. He's that sparkling, like champagne bubbling over with foam. What a guy! What a performance! It's Damon's film and no one stands a chance next to him. The cast is stellar but Damon rules and ultimately every head is turned in his direction.
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