The Talented Mr. Ripley

Why did everyone love The Talented Mr. Ripley? I can’t understand. Simply put up front, I hated The Talented Mr. Ripley. I thought it was a bore and it was nothing special.

Mr. Ripley is Tom Ripley (Matt Damon). Ripley is a loser who would rather be a fake somebody than a real nobody. Ripley is also a good impersonator and is a gifted liar. As the film opens Ripley meets the parents of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law). Dickie’s father asks Ripley if he would like to go to Italy to get his son Dickie to return to the states. It seems that Dickie has been living off his father’s money in Italy with his girlfriend Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) and has no plans on returning. Well, Ripley finds someone he really wants to be, Dickie. Dickie is outgoing, personably, and extroverted. Everything Ripley wants. And a plus is that Dickie’s girlfriend is not bad either.

I can see how The Talented Mr. Ripley can be an interesting film on someone taking someone else identity. But, writer/director Anthony Minghella does it in such a way that I was looking at my watch multiple times during the film, I even got up once to look at the DVD jacket to see what the running time of the film was (a whopping 2 hours and 20 minutes if you’re curious). The sinker for the film isn’t bad acting, the three main actors, including Damon, are great. The sinker for the film is the pace. When the murderous dark side of Ripley is shown, it is already past half the film. The first half of the film is sheer boredom. The second half of the film is sheer silliness. The Talented Mr. Ripley is not what everyone says, it’s not what the big critics say it is. This is not a great film, it is rather a meandering snore fest with an ending that left me somewhat upset that I sat through the whole film.

As I mentioned before, the actors all do wonderful jobs with their parts. Damon shows that he really can act and takes the lead role and injects some flair into it. Damon does well with the Mr. Ripley role as a man who is truly confused with what he is and what he has done. Jude Law whom I last saw in the terrible eXistenZ does better in this film (of course anything is better then that gore-fest eXistenZ). Actually, Law does quite well in the film portraying the spoiled boy who can only show his affection to one person at a time. And Paltrow does very well as the girlfriend who finds out more than she should have and which no one believes. The actors in The Talented Mr. Ripley are great, too bad they didn’t have a better film to carry their talents to the audience.

Maybe I was being a bit brutal with The Talent Mr. Ripley by saying that I hated it. I dislike the film a lot, but I can’t give it a Skip, Skip, Skip rating. The acting talents in the film are too much and if on the off chance there is nothing of interest at the rental place, try out The Talented Mr. Ripley if you’re a patient person and would like to see some good acting. Else, try as hard as you can to find something else to watch, there are lots of movies out there that better entertain you for 2 hours and 20 minutes than this silly film.