Ripley Under Ground

Posted: January 14, 2009 in movie
Tags: , , , ,

Ripley Under Ground (2005)

Forgetting about Sankranti and had to wake up early, I watched Ripley Under Ground yesterday late night on Star Movies. I wondered at the talent of the protagonist who hides his crime and the ending came as a big surprise not only to the protoganist but also to me. The hero successfully pulled the wool over everyone else’s eyes, but freely showed the entire picture to my guilty delight. Barry Pepper in the role of Tom Ripley won my heart.

Tom has a funny, stylish way about him, exuding the charisma that keeps him in the good graces of his circle, while occasionally turning his back to pick a a pocket, kidnap a cat or lock a competitor in a washroom… all in a day’s work.

On the night of Derwatt’s (played by Douglas Henshall) first gallery exhibition (the typical rebellious bad boy of the canvass), Cynthia (played by sexy Claire Forlani) rejects his proposal of marriage, and the artist is killed when he drunkenly drives off the road. Tom (played by Barry Pepper) suggests they cover up his death to maximise the profit potential. Mercenary art dealer Jeff (played by Alan Cumming) is delighted, as is Cynthia, who saw no future in her relationship with Derwatt anyway. Only Bernard (played by Ian Hart) expresses qualms, but his conscience is soothed by Cynthia’s sexual ministrations, all the better to enable Bernard to forge more Derwatt “originals.”

Not to forget, behind them all is Tom controlling the whole programme as the puppet master. He plants the seeds and lets his players reap what he has sown. He seems a mystery man.  His motivations and actions are always in motion as well as question, but his goals don’t seem.

He is the villain in the guise of the hero. I know that he is ruthless, evil, cruel and murderer but I still love him for his grace.
Everyone gets rich from Bernard’s expert forgeries, until American art dealer Murchison (played by Willem Dafoe) takes one look at the “Bernard forgeries” and begins his warpath. Tom has no other go but to put an end to his opponent’s war.

Inspector Webster of Scotland Yard (played by Tom Wilkinson) is after Tom to find the mystery behind absconding Murchison, but fails.

How can I forget the charming lady, Heloise (played by Jacinda Barrett), who is in a running competition with her bank account in the race for Tom’s affections?

The actors are very well cast for their roles, and put in the right amount of comical twists for their serious situations.
Barry Pepper is especially to be commended for his impeccable performance. Tom’s Ripley is really a virus that practically infects the others to his own ends.

The film is well-made, enjoyable and has enough pleasant twists to make it worth seeking out.


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