The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
  • Time: 139 min
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | Music
  • Director: Anthony Minghella
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport


The 1950s. Manhattan lavatory attendant, Tom Ripley, 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 to return home. In Italy, Tom attaches himself to Dickie and to Marge, Dickie’s cultured fiancĂ©e, 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.

One comment

  • Tom Ripley who is played by Matt Damon is a man of many talents. The talent that Matt Damon plays very well is split personalities. Tom is wearing a Princeton jacket while he plays the piano at this garden party. A wealthy father walks up to Tom recognizing his jacket talks to him asking if he knows his son Dickie Greenleaf who is played by Jude Law. Once this relationship between Tom and Mr. Greenleaf (the father) was established, Mr. Greenleaf offered Tom a job to go to Italy to convince Dickie to come home. Once in Italy Tom attaches himself to Dickie and Marge this is when Tom’s personality changes. Dickie begins to grow bored of Tom and is disgusted by him. Tom goes to great lengths to make Dickies privileges his own. After Tom assumes Greenleaf’s identity it’s a roller coaster ride to see how well he plays a split personality.

    Tom Ripley is callous, calculating and amoral. In the course of the film, he lies, cheats, deceives and kills any one who shows hesitation to the stories Tom tells them. Tom is cold, yet the viewers sense this closeness with Tom. We want him to succeed and we applaud him when he finally escapes justice, which isn’t the typical outcome in a movie like this. We side with Tom, the audience sympathizes with Tom when Dickie is telling Tom is a leech and he bores him.

    The theme throughout the movie betrays that Tom does not have the ability to be him self. Tom is an isolated man who his only desire is to portray himself as others.

    The technique used in this film is very much appreciated by viewers that truly understand the art of filmmaking. One technique that was used in making the film was lighting. The lighting helps make sure the mood and tone of light assistance in telling the story while revealing the character. The lighting was used through out the film. The part in the film that I particular liked was when Tom first arrived in Italy and he was trying to get Dickies attention. Tom’s body was so pale, which this contrast with the other tan bodies on the beach. This is to introduce an “outsider”, which is Tom’s attempt to twist his way into the new social network that Dickie has elaborately established.

    The second technique that was used in this film is angle, which makes the film have a unique style. The scene where Dickie and Tom take their last trip together on the train, it’s important that they had a mirror image of Tom smelling and laying his head on Dickie. This part of the film is telling the viewers that Tom is trying to become more like Dickie to make sure when he impersonates Dickie he has every part down. The mirror image is showing the viewers Tom’s full facial expression while he smelling and laying his head on Dickie. The angle of the camera allows the viewers to see what otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see.

    The unique techniques that are used in this film are one that makes the theme of the film pop out. Every technique that was used in the film was used to make the film have this persona that allowed you to think until the very end. Making the viewers want the antagonist to win in the end this is because the theme makes the viewers feel for Tom.

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