April 8, 2024

CABLE | The Talented Andrew Scott Cons 'Ripley' on Netflix

"Everything about Tom is perfectly vague."
Andrew Scott Dakota Fanning Steven Zaillian | Ripley Netflix
Showtime Studios
Accomplished screenwriter Steven Zaillian tries his hand at adapting mid-century novelist Patricia Highsmith's seminal literary character, Tom Ripley, as a miniseries this time. The succinctly titled Ripley, based on the previously adapted 1955 psychological thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley, stars British actor Andrew Scott, taking over the eponymous role of the menacing, social-climbing American con artist turned serial killer let loose in coastal Italy.

Co-starring Johnny Flynn and Dakota Fanning as Dickie and Marge, Zaillian's adaptation is much more cerebral and quietly menacing. As a slower, more faithful work to Highsmith's original material, the episodes unfold with a disturbing deliberation. Filmed in a gorgeous, brightly-lit black-and-white from award-winning cinematographer Robert Elswit, Tom's grifting motives reveal themselves much earlier and clearer about consuming Dickie's life of privilege reminiscent of the style of both classic Italian cinema and the German expressionism movement.

Shot across Italy in 2021, the action moves to the early 1960s for a slightly chillier mood to Ripley's crimes. Scott's magnetic, reptilian-like performance works in spades despite the tricky role. Its dissection of the playboy socialite playboy escaping his life of privilege and responsibilities in the States to go off searching for fulfillment as a wannabe artist despite no discernable talent for anything breaks something in the Ripley character's blank sociopathic personality.

Zallian's fresh but still cold-blooded take on Tom Ripley makes for an exciting remake. While the more methodical, episodic pace stretches certain plot contrivances about a man living double lives yet interacting with the same small pool of townspeople, Ripley makes the cat-and-mouse game of a con job with more than enough style and flair. There's an elegance to the strikingly pulpy European material.

Ripley's eight-episode season is available to stream on Netflix.

More | YVArcade / Indiewire / Inverse / Polygon

0 reactions:

Post a Comment