The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1999 American psychological thriller written and directed by Anthony Minghella. It is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith 1955 novel of the same name, which was previously filmed as Plein Soleil (Full Sun, 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, Celia Weston as Aunt Joan, and Ivano Marescotti as Colonnello Verrecchia.
It was filmed mainly in Italy with landmarks in the cities of Rome and Venice being used as a backdrop for the narrative. An opera scene features the duel between Lensky and Onegin from Eugene Onegin. (wikipedia)
The movie shows a free living life of Dickie, a rich handsome man who's life only to seek adventure and joy, in Italy with his girlfriend, Marge. Dickie's rich father sent Tom to make Dickie come back to New York city, instead of living to waste his money allowance. Dickie convinced Tom to live there for a while and spent his father's fee on him. Tom tasted Dickie's adventurous and dreamy life that has no strings to a job or family. They both quickly become close friends. Somehow Tom's mysterious and strange attitude makes Dickie uncomfortable. They have an argument and it ended Dickie's life. The story goes with a lot of misjudge and lies to cover Tom's obsession of Dickie.
The thrill to see if Tom's cover is going to be open are like a tease. I find myself on his side and on his other side at the same time. It's interesting to be psychological and thrilled at the same time (add great views of Italy), the movie has its own remarkable signature. I think they should add Tom's psychotic behavior background, just to understand more why he obsessed with Dickie and pretend to be him.
Here are some life lessons I took from the movie :
- No matter how interesting someone else's life is, it's not as interesting as your own life, because you have the power to your own.
- There is always a negative side of someone, even as perfect as Dickie's life
- A friend who called you 'boring' is not worth to be friends with
- Even though Dickie's life is full of adventure and fun, it's not real because it's not his money to spend with. Dickie's life is a dream and just an escape, where he should have come home to his dad and make things right
- Accept your own unperfect life, until it becomes your perfect life
- Trust your own instinct, if you feel someone or something untrue
- Lies could make you get away with something you did, but what you did will still be in your head
The movie get 5 Oscar Nominees and 5 Golden Globe nominees, see more here.