THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY (1999)

52

Christopher

After watching Purple Noon I knew we had to watch this and the fact that Elizabeth loves it and that Philip Seymour Hoffman is in it, made us finally watch this film. We did start it a few weeks ago but Elizabeth had trouble keeping her eyes open so we never got around to finishing it. Now that we have, I have to say, it’s a pretty enjoyable movie. I really liked it, and the story is so much more interesting than Purple Noon. Almost everything makes so much more sense in this film. I think the biggest difference is that they imply that the main characters, Matt Damon and Jude Law, definitely have sexual tension between each other. Philip Seymour Hoffman in this movie though, is so fantastic, he’s so weird and funny and not at all what I thought he was going to be like, but it was sad seeing him for the first time since his death.

This movie is better than I thought it was and I’m glad we finally got through it all!

Elizabeth

I’ve probably seen The Talented Mr. Ripley about a million times since it came out. And because it came out when I was about 12, watching it again after not seeing it for a while makes it seem sort of weird that I was that into this movie. Because even though it’s really good, it’s so dark.

In some ways, The Talented Mr. Ripley reminds me a bit of Happiness, mostly because of the choice of protagonists. Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is clearly insane: he becomes obsessed with Dickie (Jude Law) and his entire lifestyle, which includes his fiance Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) and his friend Freddie (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Marge is Tom’s #1 fan at first, but Freddie is always suspicious. And he should be, because Tom eventually violently murders Dickie and then assumes his identity. After that, the plot is mostly about Tom balancing his persona as Dickie, his real life as Tom, and not getting caught as Dickie’s murderer, and later, Freddie’s murderer. Marge goes from his biggest supporter to his biggest enemy, because she’s the only one who’s convinced that Tom did it. The way it reminds me of Happiness is because even though Tom is insane, and is a straight-up murderer and liar, any time Tom gets close to getting caught, it’s really stressful to watch. It doesn’t matter that he should get caught, because the story is written well enough that we still, somehow, feel for and support Tom, even if it’s just a little bit. Tom basically murders everyone who gets in the way of him taking over Dickie’s life, except Marge, who barely avoids getting murdered herself. It’s scary shit.

And I have to admit something, too: I was so obsessed with Marge’s wardrobe when I first saw this movie. To the point that I pasted pictures of all of her outfits in one of my notebooks and tried my best to find and wear clothes similar to her’s. Weird? Maybe, but the costumes are pretty awesome.

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a much better version of the story than Purple Noon was; it sticks closer to the book, which, in this case, is a good thing. Tom is more sinister, his homosexuality is more prominent, and the whole movie is weirder and more stressful. I also discovered that even though he was 29, Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley sort of looks like bizarro Taylor Lautner. It’s unfortunate. Also, it’s nice to know that I’m able to watch Philip Seymour Hoffman without crying. Always a good thing!

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