Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Director: Anthony Minghella
Writers: Patricia Highsmith, Anthony Minghella
DOP: John Seale
Cast: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman

In the late 1950s New-York, Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), a young underachiever is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

Talented Mr. Ripley was the follow-up film from Minghella to 'The English Patient', which won numerous academy awards. That one was a typical Oscar bait film that you like watching it for the first time but have no intention to revisit it ever again. While this one is the exact opposite, with a truly dark story which won't make it a favourite during the awards season and tremendous performances from all concerned. Matt Damon is a favourite of mine more because of the films that he is involved with than because of superlative acting turns. He is someone who has played too many Matt Damonish roles and you've trouble seeing him as the character that he is playing. Ripley is an exception to that and it is in my opinion his best performance.

The errand that he is assigned for by the millionaire father is as part of a misunderstanding and there is the obvious class difference between Ripley and those he acquaints with on his trip.
Ripley is good at impersonating others, forging signatures and lying comfortably. He begins to long for the lifestyles of his rich new friends. There is also some homosexual undertones to the whole deal.

The greatest thing about the film is that he gets away with (physically not mentally) which is in stark contrast to the usual 'Crime doesn't pay motif' from Hollywood. We also want him to get away with it. Overall, it is a great watch and works as a psychological thriller. The film is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel with the same name and it was also earlier adapted as the film 'Purple Noon'. I do like to check out Alàin Delon's performance as Ripley.

Rating: 4/5