‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ was not at all what I was expecting. It’s one of those movies, like Timecrimes, that works so much better the less you know about it. I legitimately thought it was going to be similar to Good Will Hunting, with Matt Damon playing another genius, but this time with Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow. Boy, was I completely wrong. Matt Damon plays Tom Ripley, a genius, lying sociopath who becomes whatever he needs to become in any situation he finds himself in to get what he wants.
Tom Ripley is a really interesting protagonist for a movie, mainly because he’s also the antagonist. Juggling different identities and huge lies, it’s the type of role that can only work in a plot this crazy. All of the conflict he faces in the movies is from his own design, which you hardly see in movies anymore these days. It reminded me a little bit of Breaking Bad, with Tom Ripley the Walter White character, but crammed into a 2 hour run time. His goal with all of this, that he’d ‘rather be a fake somebody, than a real nobody’.
All of the performances in the movie were great as well, with Matt Damon and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman the real standouts (even though the latter isn’t in it a whole lot, he steals the show). Matt Damon’s usual ‘good guy’ type actually helps a lot with his character here, as he’s just so damn charming. I was on his side a lot longer than I probably should have been, as he started wrapping himself up in a complex web of lies and deceit. The movie also get’s a lot darker than I was expecting it to get, and I loved that aspect of it. Instead of facing who he really was, Tom Ripley just kept powering through everyone in his path, giving no mind to who he was trampling on the way.