Cert: 15 Runtime: 139 mins Director: Anthony Minghella Cast: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett and Philip Seymour Hoffman
I always thought it would be better, to be a fake somebody… than a real nobody
Any time this film comes up I always want to write a review for it. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a favourite film of mine from a young age. What you might be wondering what is it about? The 1950s. Manhattan lavatory attendant, Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), borrows a Princeton jacket to play piano at a garden party. When the wealthy father of a recent Princeton grad chats Tom up, Tom pretends to know the son and is soon offered $1,000 to go to Italy to convince Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) to return home. In Italy, Tom attaches himself to Dickie and to Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow), Dickie’s cultured fiancée, pretending to love jazz and harboring homoerotic hopes as he soaks in luxury. Besides lying, Tom’s talents include impressions and forgery, so when the handsome and confident Dickie tires of Tom, dismissing him as a bore, Tom goes to extreme lengths to make Greenleaf’s privileges his own.First off, Matt Damon is really a good, solid actor. All of his performances are so convincing, and this is definitely not any exception. The watcher can really see his mental state change throughout this movie, and that is key, repeat key in this movie. I have seen Jude Law once before I saw this movie, and that was in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. He is a very talented actor, with a very suave manner about him, which actually made him perfect for the role of Dickie Greenleaf.
The cinematography in this movie is so memorable. It is unbelievably fantastic, and that is due to the brilliance of director Anthony Minghella. His visions are carried out with magnificently. The opening credit scene is wonderfully done with the bars coming across the screen. I have however seen this before in Strangers on a Train by Hitchcock.The script really is well done if you think about what the movie is actually telling. I know that seems strange, but it really is true. If you carefully pay attention to what is going on and how Ripley is changing, the dialogue really mirrors these changes. The shy Ripley evolves into an uncanny calm, unrattled Ripley. Tom Ripley really is the only character who actually mentally changes during the movie. Marge (Paltrow) slowly discovers Ripley, but thats not a change in character. Greenleaf remains the same, as does Freddie and Cate Blanchette’s character.Another reason for the success of the film is the music. Some movies can be made that much better, or that much worse with a soundtrack. In The Talented Mr. Ripley, the music is made with such feeling and is so perfect for every moment in the movie. Every little note, whether it be the jazz songs, or Ripley’s classical piano, is so in tune with the movie. The mixture of all these components make it a memorable film.