After his friend, a hot young artist, is killed, a resourceful American man living in London covers up the crime and tries to keep the friend's name alive in order to exploit his legacy and...
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After his friend, a hot young artist, is killed, a resourceful American man living in London covers up the crime and tries to keep the friend's name alive in order to exploit his legacy and reap millions in the process. Written by
This film is entertaining. Just imagine the character of Barry Pepper as someone else and not Ms. Patricia Highsmith's Thomas Ripley, you will be engrossed and not so disappointed. For me, I can't do that. I have already been impressed by both Matt Damon's and John Malkovich's Ripley, whose performances are so right one can't help feeling that they really play the same person at different ages, despite two completely different look and totally separate productions. I am not so sure who gets it wrong between Barry Pepper who plays him or Roger Spottiswoode the director. Thomas Ripley is not an accidental psychopath. He is a professional one who is completely conscious of all his actions and perfectly comfortable with them. He has excellent taste equipped with the vast knowledge of everything beyond his means, so he cheats, steals, and kills for such yearning. Tom Ripley never protests or acts against the mainstream. He simply has his own ways and means, and executes them rather effectively. Pepper's Ripley is not even close. His Ripley is boringly human, ordinary, and commonplace. He is supposed to be a genuinely evil spirit who lives well and excels among the sophistication of all kinds. Being an American does not stop him from being well-cultivated and subtle. Ripley's creator, Ms. Highsmith, was a big fan of him. She protested against people who made so much fuss about "a little murder" around them. See, Ripley is not a criminal but an artist of the most devious kind. This film does not get it. Furthermore, it is a poor choice of either the director or the script writer, or both, to apply comedic tone to this story. Ripley can be fun, but never comedic. Relief moments in Ripley's stories usually come with arts, good life, and stylishness. If your wish is to penetrate Mr. Ripley's mind, one of the most unique characters in the literary world, watch "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Ripley's Game" instead.
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