Projections - Movie Reviews

The Talented Mr. Ripley

How many of us have not dreamed of living a different life?  Perhaps a wealthy politician, movie star, rock star, or even a top business person.  This is the premise of The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Matt Damon stars as Tom Ripley, a young man with a unique talent to mimic anyone he meets.  At a chance meeting, Ripley is asked to persuade Dickie Greenleaf, played by Jude Law, to return from Italy and become involved in his father's ship building empire.  The only problem is that Dickie loathes his fathers business and loves his money.

Dickie's father, played by James Rebhorn, makes Ripley the offer to go to Italy and bring his son back.  Ripley finds Dickie and becomes involved and infatuated with his life.  In an odd turn, Ripley divulges his task and both he and Dickie manipulate the elder Greenleaf for more money.

The story drags in many places and even the beauty of Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge Sherwood can do nothing to make it palatable.  At one point Ripley utters the fateful line, "I wish I could live your life, Dickie".  This is one of the turning points in the film.

After too much time is spent by introducing even more characters, you begin to realize that there is not one character that has endeared his or her self to you.  The only real interesting part of the film, begins after Dickie's death and the chameleon Ripley assumes his life.  There are a few decent twists and very brief suspense scene, another murder to help mask Ripley's new identity and a very odd ending that eludes to yet another murder as Dickie manipulates the Greenleaf family to provide for him in the future and he goes back to the life of Tom Ripley.

This is not a bad film, just one that could have been better.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

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