There have been a good deal of serial killer movies, but nothing is like The Talented Mr. Ripley, except Hitchcock's Psycho. In fact, this movie has the same feel as a Hitchcock movie, only with a grander, more brilliant look.
The main character is Tom Ripley, who is the title character and the killer. He is not a bad person but he is a fragile person, and that is what drives him over the edge. He is not continuously psychotic, but he does have random whims of rage that once in a while cause him to do bad things... The Talented Mr. Ripley makes it seem like Matt Damon was held back in Good Will Hunting, even though he was nominated for an Academy Award for that. He does an unbelievably good job in this movie. His character flows controllably throughout the film, creating the perfect innocent serial killer. It is not until deep in to the movie, where Marge finds two of her missing boyfriend's rings, does Tom Ripley begin to reveal his true side.
The direction is magnificent as well. With great transitions similar to those in Hitchcock, nice camera angles, and the great backdrop of Italy, Anthony Minghella has presented us with a truly astounding film. He also wrote the film; the script is, for the most part, flawless. The only part I could object to is the homosexuality touch, not because of properness but because it was hard to follow, and hard to contemplate. Even at the end, it is unclear whether it was all an act or genuine.
The only real problem with The Talented Mr. Ripley, even though it is a well-done movie, is that it has so much character development that the movie stretches twenty minutes beyond the two-hour mark. It is a long movie and, while none of the movie seems unnecessary, shortcuts could have been taken to reduce the time a little bit. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a character movie and is not nor is it meant to be exciting, but it probably is one that I will not watch again for a long time. The movie was fabulous but it will have some trouble drawing viewers back for a second or third time.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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