“If I could just go back… if I could rub everything out… starting with myself.”
Based on the series of books by Patricia Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley tells the story of Tom Ripley, a young man whose odd talents lead the Greenleaf family to hire him to retrieve their rebellious playboy of a son from Italy. But when the trip takes a turn for the worse, Ripley must take on extraordinary measures to keep his lie intact. It’s hard to believe that The Talented Mr. Ripley came out 20 years ago this year. With an amazing young cast, including Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Hoffman this is one of those movies you look back on and see the early brewing of talent that supplied this film.
The Talented Mr. Ripley is filled with crazy twists and turns that occupy every inch of this film. Not to mention, the film doesn’t shy away from the “M word” … murder. Highsmith’s novels have provided the basis for well-known movies such as Strangers on a Train, and The Price of Salt, which was eventually turned into the movie Carol. Though director Anthony Minghella takes more than a few liberties with the story, it’s still Highsmith’s brilliant story. But it’s the performances from an array of extraordinary actors that really propel this film into something special. Matt Damon is as creepy as ever with his performance of Ripley. And Jude Law, who was fairly new to the acting world at that time, propelled himself into stardom as he takes on the role of the playboy, Dickie Greenleaf. The other, soon to be well known actors, have performances that are few and far between. But their performances, no matter how small, are noteworthy.
I won’t go into the story’s main narrative for fear that it may lead to some spoilers. See, The Talented Mr. Ripley never made waves when it first came out, nor has it become the cult classic that other films have become. But The Talented Mr. Ripley is an interesting film that will have you on the edge of your seat as the lies become more and more prominent, and then rapidly unravel. This film should be viewed, if anything, to admire how truly talented these young actors were at the beginning of their careers.
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Directed by: Anthony Minghella
Starring: Matt Damon, Jude Law Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Hoffman