The Talented Mr. Ripley The Talented Mr. Ripley
Film Date :   December 25, 1999
Genre :   Thriller Crime   
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The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripleyis a 1999 American psychological thriller written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella . It is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith 1955 novel of the same name , which was previously filmed asPlein Soleil(Purple Noon, 1960).

The film stars Matt Damon as Tom Ripley , Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge Sherwood, Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf, Cate Blanchett as Meredith Logue (a character created for the film), Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles, Jack Davenport as Peter Smith-Kingsley (a character expanded for the film), James Rebhorn as Herbert Greenleaf, and Celia Weston as Aunt Joan.

It was filmed mainly in Italy with landmarks in the cities of Rome and Venice used as a backdrop for the narrative.

Tom Ripley ( Matt Damon ) is a young man struggling to make a living in 1950s New York City using his "talents" — forgery, lying and impersonation. While working at a party, playing the piano in a borrowed Princeton jacket, he is approached by the wealthy shipbuilder Herbert Greenleaf ( James Rebhorn ), who believes Ripley to be an actual graduate of the university and a friend of his son, Dickie ( Jude Law ). The older Mr. Greenleaf recruits Ripley to travel to Italy to persuade Dickie to return home to the United States, for which he will pay Ripley a thousand dollars. Ripley accepts the proposal, though he did not go to Princeton and never met Dickie.

Shortly after his arrival in Italy, Ripley contrives an "accidental" meeting on the beach with Dickie and his girlfriend, Marge Sherwood ( Gwyneth Paltrow ), and quickly insinuates himself into their lives. On one of their outings together, Dickie and Ripley meet Dickie's friend Freddie Miles ( Philip Seymour Hoffman ), who treats Ripley with barely concealed contempt.

Things begin to change after a local girl, whom Dickie had gotten pregnant, is killed when he refuses to help her financially. Soon afterward, Dickie begins to tire of his new friend, resenting his constant presence and suffocating dependence, especially after surmising that Ripley has been lying about their days together at Princeton. Ripley's own feelings are complicated by his desire to maintain the opulent lifestyle Dickie has afforded him, and by his growing sexual obsession with his new friend.

As a gesture to Ripley, Dickie agrees to travel with him on a short holiday to Sanremo . The two hire a small boat and head out to sea together. Dickie lashes out when Ripley confronts him about his behavior, and a fight ensues in which Ripley strikes Dickie with an oar in a fit of rage, causing his face to be disfigured with blood. Dickie attacks him, and Ripley beats him to death with the oar. To conceal his crime, he scuttles the boat, with Dickie's body still on board, before swimming to shore.

When the hotel concierge mistakes him for Dickie, Ripley suddenly realizes he can assume Dickie's identity. He forges Dickie's signature, modifies his passport, and begins living off his allowance. He uses Dickie's typewriter to communicate with Marge and makes her believe that Dickie has deserted her. He even checks into two separate hotels as himself and as Dickie and passes messages between "them" via the hotel staff, thus providing the illusion that Dickie is still alive.

Later, Ripley rents an expensive apartment in Rome and spends a lonely Christmas buying expensive presents for himself. Freddie visits what he assumes to be Dickie's apartment, and is immediately suspicious of Ripley; the apartment is not furnished in what he considers to be Dickie's style, while Ripley appears to have copied Dickie's dress and manner perfectly. On his way out, Freddie meets the landlady, who refers to Ripley as "Signor Greenleaf"; Freddie goes back to confront Ripley, who ambushes and then murders him, as well.

Over the next few weeks, Ripley's existence becomes a "cat and mouse" game with the police and Dickie's friends. His predicament is complicated by Meredith Logue ( Cate Blanchett ), a wealthy heiress he met after first arriving in Italy and to whom he introduced himself as Dickie Greenleaf before she had met Dickie. Ripley forges a suicide note in Dickie's name and moves to Venice . In quick succession, Marge, Dickie's father, and an American private detective ( Philip Baker Hall ) confront Ripley. Marge, in particular, suspects Ripley's involvement in Dickie's death; upon expressing her suspicions, Ripley prepares to murder her. He is interrupted when Marge's friend, Peter Smith-Kingsley ( Jack Davenport ), enters the apartment.

The private detective reveals that Mr. Greenleaf has decided to give Ripley a portion of Dickie's income, with the understanding that certain sordid details about his son's past, such as a vicious assault on a male student at Princeton, not be revealed to the Italian police.

Ripley goes on a cruise with Smith-Kingsley, his new lover, only to discover that Meredith is also on board. Ripley realizes it will be impossible to keep Smith-Kingsley from discovering that he has been passing himself off as Dickie, since Smith-Kingsley and Meredith know each other and would certainly exchange words later on the cruise. He cannot solve this dilemma by murdering Logue, as she is traveling with family who would quickly notice her disappearance. The movie concludes with a sobbing Ripley strangling Smith-Kingsley in his bed and going back to his own cabin, alone.

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