The Talented Mr Ripley

August 9, 2007 by  
Filed under News

The Talented Mr RipleyThe Talented Mr Ripley” is one of those films that you can watch many times and pick up something new from the storyline. The film was directed and written (screenplay) by Anthony Minghella, who won an Oscar for his film, “The English Patient” and also plenty of BAFTA and other awards for “Cold Mountain” and “Truly, Madly, Deeply”. “The Talented Mr Ripley” itself was nominated for 5 Oscars and it’s easy to see why.

The film is set in Italy in the 1950s and has stunning shots of Venice, Rome and Naples. It has an all-star cast featuring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett.

Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), after pretending to be a student at Princetown starts chatting to a wealthy businessman. He pretends to know his son – Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), and is asked to travel to Italy to bring back the errant playboy. Tom Ripley is offered $1,000 to do this. He arrives in Italy and tracks down Dickie and his fiancée, Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) and quickly makes friends. They make fun of him a little because of his dress sense and his manner, but he is introduced to their wider circle. Tom Ripley becomes rather obsessed with the pair, particularly Dickie Greenleaf and the film makes you wonder if there is a hidden homosexuality to Dickie.

In one scene, Tom is caught by Dickie’s friend Freddie watching the couple making love below deck on a boat and earns the nickname of “Peeping Tom”. Slowly Ripley infiltrates their life , but Marge becomes suspicious of his motives.

On holiday with Dickie, Ripley professes his love for him but murders him on a boat and sinks it. He quickly assumes the identity of “Dickie Greenleaf” but manages to persuade Marge that Dickie has simply deserted her. However Freddie discovers the truth and the story continues with Ripley trying to avoid the police and the attentions of the heiress (Meredith Logue) (Cate Blanchett) who thinks he is Dickie.

There are many twists and turns to the plot, with a surprise ending.

Tom Ripley is not a “pantomime baddy” but a character that you learn to feel sorry for as he shows his vulnerability and is quite sad and lonely as well as obsessively in love. He has a great ,musical talent and is intelligent of nature However, he also yearns for Dickie’s lifestyle, is ruthless, calculating and secretive. This is Matt Damon at his acting best.

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