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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
John Malkovich remarked in an interview with the BBC that before starring in this film, he came close to directing The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and that he was in negotiations to obtain the rights to direct a remake of the first "Talented Mr Ripley" adaptation, Purple Noon (1960). See more »
When Trevanny and Reeves first meet in the hotel, Trevanny's cigar changes orientation, between shots. See more »
Tom Ripley is at it again, this time in "Ripley's Game," a 2002 European production starring John Malkovich, Dougray Scott, Ray Winstone, and a host of European actors and actresses, all very good in their roles. Ripley at the beginning of the film is involved in an art scam with a partner, Reeves (Winstone). It doesn't go down quite as planned. The film picks up three years later in Italy where Tom is living la vida loca, fabulous house, gorgeous musician girlfriend, best cook around. He overhears himself being insulted by a picture framer, Jonathan Trevanny (Scott) while at a party. Later, Ripley's old partner appears and wants some people rubbed out, and Ripley suggests Trevanny. Knowing human nature as he does, he's pretty sure Trevanny will do it and in Ripley's world, a man's soul is fitting revenge for an insult. However, Reeves wants more than one job done. Ripley then becomes a little more involved than he wanted.
The character of Tom Ripley is a fascinating one, and he is played to complete perfection here by John Malkovich who manages to capture both Tom's charm and even kindness as well as his dangerous side. Though he lacks Matt Damon's boyish charm, this is Ripley later on, and Tom has added to his survival skills. For Ripley, it's all part of the game.
"The Talented Mr. Ripley" was a very disappointing film with great scenery and some incredible absurdities; this film is not without some absurdity but here, because of the director and Malkovich's handling of the material, the absurdity of the scene on the train would almost be funny if the reality of it wasn't so gruesome. In "The Talented Mr. Ripley," stupidity was played stupidly, such as Tom pretending to be David while Philip Seymour Hoffman was in the next room.
I found this film much better, much more suspenseful and compelling. I hope Malkovich has another chance to play Ripley.
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