Dickie Greenleaf has it all. The son of a millionaire ship yard owner, he is living a life of leisure on the beautiful sun drenched coast of Italy. He has all the best things money can buy. A yacht, friends and the love of a beautiful woman. He has no intention of coming home to America.
Tom Ripley, on the other hand, has nothing. When by chance Tom meets Herbert Greenleaf, Dickie's father, he makes him an offers he can't simply can't refuse. Herbert wants him to travel to Italy and try and convince his errant son to return home.
When Tom arrives in Italy and sees for himself the life style that Dickie enjoys, he befriends both him and his girlfriend which eventually turns into a obsession. It is an obsession which eventually leads to murder as he attempts to take over this rich man's life. It is an obsession so full of deceit that it soon starts to spiral out of control with chilling consequences.
The picture has an above average bit-rate with some wonderfully rich and vibrant colours giving the film a look of the 1950s period. There are no signs of artifacting which results in a crisp and clear picture that only DVD can offer.
The sound is equally impressive. Although not used extensively throughout the film, the surround channels are used well for the ambient effects with a scene in a jazz club being especially impressive. The dialogue is locked in the centre channel and is crystal clear at all times. It really added to the enjoyment of the film.
The acting for all cast members is outstanding. I don't normally comment on the acting unless it is worth mentioning, but Matt Damon puts in a superbly chilling portrayal of the confused and crazed Tom Ripley. Jude Law is equally impressive as the laid back and spoiled Dickie Greenleaf and Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays his friend Freddie Miles, is just terrific as he starts to suspect things are not quite as they should be.
This is truly a remarkable film. As director Anthony Minghella goes to great lengths to point out during the behind the scenes footage, the film manages to capture the late-1950s Italy atmosphere with some brilliant and imaginative direction. Even the picture has that 1950s look to it and you come so engrossed, not only in the script, but with the remarkable scenery that you could really be watching a film of that period.
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