Submitted by Evan B
POOPER: (Thanks Curt)
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Ripley (Matt Damon) kills Dickie (who Ripley had a crush on), then kills Freddie (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and Peter, and gets away with it in the end.
Struggling aspiring pianist Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is mistaken by shipping magnate Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) as a college friend of Herbert’s son Dickie (Jude Law). Herbert wants Dickie to return from an extended vacation he’s taking in Italy and take over the family business. He hires Tom (who’s never met Dickie) to go to Italy and return with his son. Tom accepts, begins learning about jazz (Dickie’s favorite music), and works on acting like a member of high society. Upon arrival in Italy, he practices his newly-acquired skills by pretending to be Dickie Greenleaf to a fellow high society traveler named Meredith (Cate Blanchett).
Tom tracks Dickie to the small Italian town he’s staying in and pretends to have gone to Harvard with Dickie. Although suspicious of Tom since he has no memory of him, Dickie invites Tom to lunch at his villa with his fiancee Marge (Gwynneth Paltrow). The trio strike up a fast friendship and Tom quickly confides in them that Herbert paid him to try and convince Dickie to move home. The trio decide to engage in a scheme where they will pretend that Dickie is planning to return in a few months so that Herbert will send them more money. Tom moves in with a couple and develops a deep obsession for Dickie, even beginning to refer to the pair as brothers and wearing Dickie’s clothing. He also learns that Dickie is having numerous affairs and that one of his paramores killed herself after Dickie impregnated her and refused to provide financial assistance to the mom/baby.
The friendship starts to unravel when Dickie’s old friend Freddie (Philip Seymour Hoffman) visits and points out how unpolished and manipulative Tom is. Dickie eventually decides to end their scheme and have Tom move out. Tom and Dickie decide to go on one more weekend outing together before parting ways. There, Tom confesses that he’d been lying about being an old college friend (and even lying that he was a fellow jazz lover). On the last day, they rent a small motorboat and go deep out into the ocean. There, Tom declares his continued love for Dickie. Tired of Tom’s obsession, Dickie rudely rebuffs Tom and says he never wants to see him again. They get into a fight where Dickie almost chokes Tom to death, but then Tom manages to beat Dikie to death with a boat paddle. Tom weeps over his dead friend’s corpse before throwing it overboard and sinking the boat.
Tom then travels to Rome where he assumes Dickie’s identity and forges Dickie’s signature to withdraw a lot of money from the bank. Tom writes a letter to Marge (pretending to be Dickie) where he breaks off their engagement. He also reconnects with Meredith (who has never known that he is in fact Tom Ripley and still legitimately thinks Tom is Dickie) and the pair develop a romance. Things get complicated, however, when a despondent Marge shows up in Rome with her friend Peter (Jack Davenport) to search for Dickie. Tom manipulates events so that Marge learns that “Dickie” is dating Meredith before leaving town to rent a small, secret apartment (still under Dickie’s name and with his money). However, Freddie tracks “Dickie” down to Tom’s new apartment and quickly deduces what Tom has been up to. Tom attacks and kills Freddie and stages Freddie’s death to look like an accident. The police begin investigating “Dickie” not knowing he is actually Tom (they also suspect that Dickie murdered Tom since Tom has apparently disappeared). Tom writes a suicide note as Dickie (wherein he has Dickie write that he loves Tom like a brother and essentially has Dickie admit to murdering Freddie and the pregnant woman) and manages to flee to Venice where he reaches out to Peter for help. Peter and Tom go to the police to prove that Tom is alive and provide an alibi that Tom was in Venice during Freddie’s murder and Dickie’s disappearance. The police accept that Dickie committed suicide and was responsible for the murders.
Herbert and Marge arrive in Venice to talk to Tom about Dickie’s death (with Marge disgusted that Tom is now living with Peter as he had previously lived with her and Dickie). Already suspicious of Tom’s role in Dickie’s death, she becomes (rightfully) convinced that Tom killed Dickie after she finds Dickie’s engagement ring in Tom’s possession. Tom almost kills Marge before they are interrupted by Peter, and Marge runs to Herbert to accuse Tom of murder. The next morning, Herbert invites Tom over to his apartment where he introduces Tom to a private investigator named Alvin MacCaron (Philip Baker Hall) he’s had investigating Dickie’s death. To Tom’s surprise, McCaron reveals that he and Herbert believe that Dickie killed himself. McCaron reveals that Dickie had a propensity for violence (having almost beaten another student to death in a dispute over a girl at Harvard) and that’s why Dickie had moved to Italy. They’ve concluded that Dickie indeed killed Freddie and the pregnant woman and, based on Tom’s forged suicide letter, that Tom was the only friend Dickie had before he killed himself. As appreciation and acknowledgement for the small solace Tom provided Dickie before the end, Herbert pays Tom a small fortune. Marge is disgusted as Herbert forces her to leave Italy.
Tom begins dating Peter, and Peter genuinely loves and admires Tom. Peter invites Tom to journey to Greece with him and the pair plan a future together. On the ship to Greece, Tom is recognized by Meredith who is also on the ship (and still believes Tom is and has always been Dickie). Tom is forced to lie and he successfully convinces Meredith that he is alone and has been formally cleared of killing Freddie (and the police accusations against Dickie were part of a ruse to lure out the real killer). A despondent Tom returns to his room where he weeps in front of Peter, saying he always thought it would be better to be a special “somebody” than an unspecial “nobody,” but now knows that the only option is to end up alone. Peter embraces Tom and says that Tom is not a “nobody,” but is in fact the love of Peter’s life. As Peter begins reciting a list of reasons that Tom is special, Tom sneaks up and kills Peter (knowing Peter can expose his ruse to Meredith and that he would lose his freedom if discovered). The film ends with Tom sitting in his ship cabin completely alone.