Netflix Ripley Review 2024: It’s ‘the Hitchcock series Hitchcock never made’

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By Jak

5/5 - (1 vote)

Netflix Ripley Review 2024 – 3 Stars out of 5

If you loved the gripping tale of The Talented Mr. Ripley with Matt Damon, get ready to be blown away by the fresh take in this new series. Andrew Scott’s portrayal of Tom Ripley is mesmerizing, adding a chilling vibe to this psychological thriller from the get-go. The Ripley Review kicks off with a mysterious scene, setting the tone for a suspenseful ride. Shot in striking black and white by the talented Robert Elswit, every frame is hauntingly beautiful, enhancing the eerie atmosphere. Steven Zaillian’s clever script keeps you hooked from start to finish, making Ripley feel like a Hitchcockian masterpiece that never was.

Netflix Ripley Review 2024

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Travel back to 1961 with this captivating show, which delves into Tom Ripley’s life as a small-time hustler in New York City. The storyline stays true to Patricia Highsmith’s novel, with a nod to Hitchcock’s adaptation of her work in “Strangers on a Train.” Ripley gets a proposition from Herbert Greenleaf, played by Kenneth Lonergan, to fetch his son Dickie, portrayed by Johnny Flynn, from Italy. Tom, donning a worn leather jacket, lands in the picturesque town of Atrani, where he befriends Dickie and his companion Marge, played by Dakota Fanning. Get ready for a thrilling journey as Tom’s schemes unfold amidst the stunning backdrop of Italy’s seaside.

Flynn effortlessly portrays Dickie as charming yet somewhat naive, making him the perfect target for Tom, who may lack refinement but is astute. Inviting Tom to stay at his spacious house, they embark on adventures to Naples, Rome, and sail on Dickie’s boat. Yet, even under the sunniest skies, an ominous undertone prevails. Tom’s snooping reveals Dickie’s bank account details and signature habits. By the first episode’s end, he’s already practicing Dickie’s voice in the mirror. The fact that Scott appears older than Damon’s Ripley hints at a life filled with deception and schemes.

Ripley Review Netflix 2024

Scott, now recognized for his empathetic portrayals such as the Hot Priest in Fleabag and the grieving son in All of Us Strangers, brings a haunting echo of his Moriarty character from the Benedict Cumberbatch series Sherlock. Through subtle shifts of his gaze or faint smiles, Scott unveils Tom’s inner thoughts. Brief glimpses into Tom’s dreams or fantasies offer deeper insights, like his disturbing vision of his aunt at the dentist. While the series doesn’t explicitly urge us to support Tom, it predominantly adopts his perspective, drawing us into his world so intensely that we share his constant dread of being exposed. Driven by the looming question accompanying each increasingly desperate scheme: Will he manage to evade capture this time?

Netflix Ripley Review

If Scott and Zaillian, known for their respective talents in acting and writing, were to make a misstep, it might lie in revealing Tom’s deceitfulness too overtly early on, thereby making Dickie appear somewhat naive. However, this is offset by how other characters see through Tom’s facade. Both Marge and Freddie Miles, a friend they encounter in Naples, regard Tom with skepticism, questioning his motives and presence alongside Dickie.

In a smart departure from the book and the previous film, where Freddie is portrayed as a boorish American, here he takes on a British persona and an androgynous appearance, portrayed with a sly grin by Eliot Sumner. This change highlights the homoerotic undertones present in Highsmith’s novel, unsettling Tom, who repeatedly insists throughout the series that he is not gay. Scott delivers his declaration of “I like girls” with such stiffness that even the naive Dickie can’t help but let out a scornful chuckle.

2024 Netflix ripley review

The series takes a dark turn when Dickie grows tired of Tom’s presence and disappears. This leads Tom to assume Dickie’s identity, renting a lavish apartment in Rome. When Freddie confronts him, suspicions arise, triggering a tense cat-and-mouse game between Tom and detectives in Rome. Elswit, known for his work in “There Will Be Blood,” enhances the atmosphere with eerie scenes of Tom navigating dark streets and empty roads under the moonlight. John Malkovich, who previously portrayed a version of Ripley in the film “Ripley’s Game” (2002), based on another Highsmith novel, makes a subtle cameo appearance in the final episode, adding a clever Easter egg for fans.

Zaillian introduces a thematic anchor in the series, not derived from Highsmith’s work, but equally impactful. Dickie acquaints Tom with the paintings of Caravaggio, recounting the story of the Renaissance artist who fled Rome under suspicion of murder. It’s a brilliant choice, resonating deeply with Tom Ripley’s character as an artist of deception, drawing a poignant parallel between his actions and Caravaggio’s tumultuous life.

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