Ripley's Game artwork by Mister Gee

Ripley’s Game

Director: Liliana Cavani / Script: LC + Charles McKeown from Patricia Highsmith’s novel / Editing: Jon Harris / DP: Alfio Contini

Cast: Ray Winstone / John Malkovich / Chiara Caselli / Lena Headey / Dougray Scott  

Year: 2002


Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know…


You must’ve seen Minghella’s ‘Talented Mr. Ripley’ by now?

No? Jude Law, Gwynnie-P and Matt Damon? 1999? There you go.

Well, rest easy Dear Heart, for I have seen its misfiring (and somewhat gimpy) younger brother. The one kept under the stairs, where few dare venture: Which is probably where it should’ve remained. If the Ripley of ’99 was all about Italian sunshine and Venetian mist, his 2002 incarnation is mired in a grey Berlin and equally dull Milanese autumn, that do neither city any favours.

Throw-in a bare-bones filleting of Highsmith’s novel that gave Malkovich little room to breathe. Caricatures from Ray Winstone, Lena Headey and Dougray Scott, who should all have known better. Direction from Liliana Cavani that verges on anaemic. Add it all up and you’re left wondering WHY DOES THIS EXIST? Is it the product of an elaborate money-laundering scheme? Or an intellectual exercise, in how one might single-handedly destroy a promising franchise in one fell swoop?

Not to mention the continuity… There are moments when it’s SO random, I began wondering if Cavani’s editor had enacted some form of revenge against the picture!

It never used to be so crowded in first class.

No FULL Review this time, but my Triple Word Score?

Ripley’s Game  Triple Word / Score: FILLETED / BLOODLESS / SLAP-DASH / FIVE

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