Ripley

Ripley

Within the audio-visual mire in which we swim every night when we return home, every now and then a small gem appears in this sea of ​​plastic that goes, in general, unnoticed. “Ripley” on Netflix is ​​the fourth film adaptation of the novel “The Talent of Mr. Ripley 1955” by Patricia Highsmith, and it is one of those works that must be read, because it leaves no one indifferent. Among the films made from the book, Anthony Minghella's 1999 stands out above all others, which, like almost everything else done by this brilliant but short-lived director – Only the Good Die – is in my opinion a masterpiece I've seen more Thirty times. It's inevitable that this eight-episode series will be compared to Minghella's feature film, but it's worth getting up close and personal with this new reincarnation of the famous con artist and sociopath. The film is directed by Steven Zaillian, who was the screenwriter of Schindler's List, and stars Andrew Scott as Thomas Ripley. This spends an extended photo shoot between FG Lorca and Norman Bates. He has a bohemian frame and a haunting gaze, but lacks the studied insouciance and depth of Highsmith's character, which Matt Damon reflects so well in his brilliant interpretation of Minghella. It is flattery, with corresponding psychopathic reactions, but without this youthful amusement or this baroque passion that guides Damon/Ripley's mental steps, and which arouses certain feelings in those who do not have them. Scott Ripley is a colder, less hardened being, a man in his forties who lies to survive his circumstances. In this fraud prevails as an end in itself rather than as a means to flourish in its own class struggle. One can sympathize with the pathos of all the Ripleys in this game of broken mirrors that has created the various adaptations of this already universal novel, but one is not so keen on the meanness and corner-working of this latest, lesser doppelgänger. Sick mind. The series misses more interaction with Ripley's nemesis, Dickie Greenleaf. The rich heir and prodigal son who will never return to the family home, played by Johnny Flynn. Although he is a central character, a model impersonation of Adonis and Ripley, his role is too fleeting to be that person's enemy, nor is he able to draw out the ambiguous and homogeneous relationship of the text, reduced in this case to a very vague familiarity that does not even hint at friendship and which It ends suddenly. One of the main characters in Minghella's film is Freddie Miles, played in 1999 by hulking actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (recurring appearance: Only the Good Death), who does enough in three scenes to overshadow Damon and Jude Law. Miles' new role in the series is played by a young woman dressed as a man – Coco Sumner, daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler – who looks more like an orphan from a Dickens novel than a lusty, overweight, testosterone East Coast aristocrat. Less postmodern swagger that doesn't quite work. Through the series, the aesthetics of black and white photography, between American noir, German expressionism and Italian neo-realism, the play of lights in homage to Caravaggio, the always correct placement of the camera, with cuts and counter-cuts of great merit, photography worthy of the best Cartier-Bresson, and excellent localization work that serves as Great appreciation for Italy's daily memorial. The series is closer to the text of Highsmith's novel, and if its main virtue is its pretty billing, its greatest sin is that it doesn't strike the right balance between the overwhelming beauty of the set and the turmoil of the black character. This failed alchemy does not prevent the story from maintaining its narrative tension, even for those of us who already knew the outcome, in which one does not stop wishing that he were the villain of many masks, caught in his own personal web and in denial of his dignity. An ugly reality, if not for the police – the wonderful Maurizio Lombardi as Ispitori Rafini – to finally escape punishment.

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