This is not a comfortable film to watch. It is also quite
a different film from what you see in the trailers. The
Talented Mr. Ripley is the story of a bathroom attendant and part-time
musician (Matt Damon) who through a bit of luck meets a rich guy who mistakes
him for another high society type. The rich guy enlists Damon to
travel to Italy and try to convince his wayward son to come home.
The wayward son (Jude Law) is happy as a clam in Italy with a nice sailboat,
a nice girlfriend (Gwynneth Paltrow) and a nice allowance, and has no intention
of ever coming home. Damon arrives in Italy and passes himself off as someone
he is not and becomes friends with the happy couple. At this point the
movie starts to turn dark as Damon who feels that being anyone but himself
is a big improvement, starts to make his life very complicated by trying
to deceive everybody all the time. The trouble starts when Damon
not only falls in love with the life of Jude Law but with Jude Law himself.
This movie is Anthony Minghella's first movie since directing The
English Patient. The Talented Mr. Ripley
is very good but not in the same league with The
English Patient. Matt Damon does a pretty good job in the title
role which lets him play someone really different from his previous roles.
Jude Law is also good as the man Mr. Ripley would like to be. Gwynneth
Paltrow doesn't have much to do here except lie around on the sailboat
in a bikini which she does very well. She and Cate Blanchett, who
plays another rich American lay about, keep popping up to throw Damon's
plans into chaos. Paltrow and Blanchett together with the beautiful
Italian backdrops make this a beautiful movie to look at as we watch Mr.
Ripley become more and more desperate to keep the new life he has adopted.
What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Mr.
Ripley is the kind of role that Alec Guinness used to do so well and Matt
Damon is no Alec Guinness. The whole movie might have been better if done
with British actors. But such is the Americanization of film that roles
must be filled by big name American actors so they can fill theatre seats
in the USA. Even the non Americans (Jude Law and Cate Blanchett)
are playing Americans in Mr. Ripley. I certainly recommend seeing
this movie but don't go if you are depressed and looking for something