In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy, named Dickie Greenleaf. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.
A wonderful modern Hänsel and Gretel version by Francois Ozon, one of today's most interesting French filmmakers. Natacha Regnier (La vie rêvée des anges) is most impressive as the scheming and unscrupulous, yet at the same time strangely innocent and childlike schoolgirl Alice who brings her impotent boyfriend Luc (not-so impressive, though ok Jérémie Renier) to killing their handsome Arab schoolmate Said she is lusting for. As for her motivations, the Rimbaud quote ("Un crime!...") in one of the flashback scenes seems to tell the most about it. Maybe she also hates Said because he is sexually aggressive and at the same time very desirable to her - so he doesn't give her that complete control she has with Luc who is none-menacing to her in any way whatsoever.
As for Luc, whose internal development we follow the closest in the story, I don't know exactly why he is able to perform sexually in the end (in a scene that seemed to me a kind of parody to 70s softcore porn movies) when first he couldn't. It is true, Alice was menacing and even false to him (in the beginning, she tells the blindfolded Luc that she has taken off her bra when in fact she hasn't, then she photographs him half naked and tells him playfully she would send the pictures to his parents) - but then, the Man of the Woods (Serbian actor Miki Manojlovic - it makes sense that this strange character is played by a foreigner) seems also to be dangerous, doesn't he? Or is it that the Man (contrary to Alice) doesn't expect anything of him, only to stay calm and let go - that's why this in neither way attractive person is the first Luc is able to enjoy sex with?
As for Luc and Said, someone here has mentioned that Luc may desire Said for himself. Though this never gets clear, but there is a tell-tale scene when Luc goes to Said's boxing class and watches him for an important period of time, while we hear strange, hymnical music on the background score. This may indicate that Luc is indeed attracted to his sexy schoolmate, though he also 'knows' that Said and his friends did terrible things to Alice (things the girl made up in order to convince Luc to take part in the killing).
I also found the motif of the rabbits very interesting: rabbits here are exchangeable for people, as the same things happen to human beings as to these animals. A rabbit gets killed and so does a human; a rabbit gets caught in a trap and so does a human; a rabbit is eaten...
All in all a very interesting Ozon movie. And as always in his films, there is more behind it than one may notice at first sight...
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