The talented Mr Ripley

25 Feb

Picture from the film The Talented Mr Ripley

Matt Damon plays a man who thrills to our worst fears

audio transcript

Mr Ripley is a disturbing film and a disturbing man. At first sight, a little dull, but your pulse starts to race. Not due to gory violence or fear of a horrible murder. But fear of being found out, something which we all relate to a lot more. Something that is truly nerve wracking.

audio transcript

Anthony Minghella, to follow ‘the English Patient’ has made another beautifully lit film. And brought someone in to do another wonderful film score. Is that enough in a film? No. And that’s why it’s a good thing that the story is so strong and that the lead, Matt Damon in the title role, is faultless. Because sadly the direction doesn’t take off. And although this was allegedly the same Italy as we saw in ‘Il Postino’ somehow it managed to look as if it was filmed in a Hollywood backlot. Minghella did write the screenplay though, and although his direction is far from inspired, it competently brings the gripping story of complex characters and psychology to life. ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ is billed as a thriller but there’s precious little fear of gory violence or bloody murder. So why is your heart beating and your pulse racing? Because the real danger shown in this thriller is the danger of being found out. Something we can all relate to. Something that we all find exciting, scary and nerve-wracking. And that makes for a satisfying film. Ultimately, Mr Ripley, the man, is so well written and acted that he stays with you having left the cinema. And believe me, that’s a good thing for a film, but not nice, because he’s not a nice man.


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