Tom Ripley - cool, urbane, wealthy, and murderous - lives in a villa in the Veneto with Luisa, his harpsichord-playing girlfriend. A former business associate from Berlin's underworld pays a call asking Ripley's help in killing a rival. Ripley - ever a student of human nature - initiates a game to turn a mild and innocent local picture framer into a hit man. The artisan, Jonathan Trevanny, who's dying of cancer, has a wife, young son, and little to leave them. If Ripley draws Jonathan into the game, can Ripley maintain control? Does it stop at one killing? What if Ripley develops a conscience? Luisa prepares for her concert. Written by
Financial difficulties caused shooting delays which meant director Liliana Cavani had to leave the production before filming had been completed, due to a previous commitment to direct an opera at La Scala in Milan. John Malkovich took over and completed the film, directing around a third of the footage. Consequently, this marks his unofficial debut as a director See more »
Jonathan stirs coffee when talking with Reeves about the second job. The spoon is in and out of the cup between shots. See more »
I have always thought that Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels were aimed (like a missile) at the reader. So, the films. One's immediate reaction to Ripley tells more about the viewer/reader than anything at all about Ripley. His charm is that he is absolutely immoral in a pseudo-moral universe of sentimentality passing for decency. He has taken the society's values, not at their word, but at their obvious meaning: benefit yourself at all cost; nothing is more important than your own welfare; if it seems necessary, do it - you can probably always get out of the consequences. He is popular with us all, not because he is a snob, or a cad, or a mediocrity,although he may be all of those things. He is popular because we recognize ourselves in him. This film portrays the Highsmith character fully and true to the novels. I found Malkovich, who I usually dislike, perfect in the role and the other actors are excellent. Being a European production makes it easier to avoid the soppiness of The Talented Mr. Ripley, a truly dreadful film to my mind. The score was a grand addition as was the perfect lighting and ambiance of the sets - brilliantly dark, full of the emptiness of a reality so flatly conveyed.I will be happy to see it again.
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