Review: The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a "good" movie. Not a great movie, not a mediocre movie, a good movie.
It's first half is entertaning and it strikes me as a much better movie than people gave it credit for. This only relates to the first half. The second half is overly drawn out and tension-filled. So many "Oh my gosh, how will he get out of this one" situations, and too few edits. The amount of unnecessary scenes isn't HUGE, but it is a substantial number.
This is where I talk about plot twists, so I declare a The murders are gruesome without being ultra violent. The problem is not with the murders, it is with the way the murders are predictable. Mr. Ripley travels to see what he can see after he kills Dickie, but why the Hell did Anthony Minghella feel the need to make the entire thing so damned long? The period in which Tom Ripley is in Rome is the worst part of the movie. Since this makes up the entire second half, this somewhat slights the movie as a whole. Another thing that disturbs me about the movie is that Ripley is likeable, very likeable. I rooted for Hannibal in Silence of the Lambs, but I feel uncomfortable rooting for Mr. Ripley. I found myself hating Marge when she stood in his way, even though I should feel sorry for her (her fiance has been murdered after all). This all limits my feelings for the supporting characters, and it also makes me feel like I should not enjoy the movie I'm watching, and I should be wanting Ripley to die a horrible death for what he has done.
Now that the plot and rants are over, I can praise the actors and actresses.
Matt Damon is wonderful. He portrays Ripley as such a tender hearted puppy that you can't help but like him (whether this is good or bad is up to you, but it is commendable).
Jude Law is a revelation. From the commercials,I thought that Dickie would be pompous and cruel, but instead he is conflicted and unaware of his own cruelty. He was the entire reason I liked the movie, but it all falls apart later.
Gwenyth was nothing spectacular, and I loathed Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character Freddie.
The movie left me feeling like I had been sort of cheated into liking a movie that wasn't really that great. The movie wasn't bad either, I knew that. So the final decision is: its "good".
(Upon reconsidering the film, I have decided it merited a B-, not B+)