The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley, viewers are able to watch a very interesting character in Tom Ripley. The talents that he possesses and admits to are forgery, lying, and impersonation. We start off seeing him lie to a man by the name of Herbert Greenleaf. He has Mr. Greenleaf believing that he went to Princeton with his son Dickie. Dickie is out in Italy away from the family and refuses to come home. Thinking Tom and Dickie are friends; Mr. Greenleaf decides to pay Tom $1,000 to bring Dickie home. This results in Tom moving to Italy and befriending Dickie and his girlfriend Marge.

Tom becomes in love with the lifestyle Dickie has with all the glamour and money spent. However, Dickie begins to feel weird about Tom being around all the time and suspects that Tom did not even go to Princeton with him. As Dickie tries to distance himself with Tom, things begin to turn. Tom goes on a rampage; killing off Dickie and then beings to impersonate Dickie because Tom realizes he can pass as him. He also kills Dickie’s friend Freddie who comes to one of the apartment of Dickie’s that Tom was using and is suspicious.

With all of Tom’s wrongdoings, many wonder if he actually gets caught. He is playing the situation very well. When Tom begins to pretend he is Dickie, he sends letters to a place that the real Tom would be located so it would seem as if he and Dickie would still be in communication. He also begins to dress and act like Dickie and mastered Dickie’s signature. However, he did not do everything perfectly. He introduced himself to a girl named Meredith Logue as Dickie Greenleaf which becomes a problem when he finds out she knows Peter Smith Kingsley, a friend of Marge who has met Tom as Tom.

With this being said, I do believe Dickie will get caught eventually. Throughout the movie, Tom shows signs of instability. He quickly develops strong feelings for Dickie. Tom fell in love with what Dickie’s everyday life is like and how Dickie acted. However, when Dickie invited Freddie to hang out with them and had Tom go sightseeing on his own, Tom got very jealous of the attention Freddie was receiving from Dickie. This was the beginning of the build up that led to Tom killing Dickie out of anger. I believe it shows that Tom is very irrational and if flustered, can make terrible decisions.

Seeing this, I can see Tom being angered by someone’s action, and it resulting in him making a move that could get him caught. When Tom puts proper thought into his plans, such as his plan to befriend Dickie or impersonate Dickie, it tends to end up well. However, when he allows his emotions to get involved, such as when he fell in love with Dickie or when he tried to show off as Dickie and introduced himself as Dickie to people, he messed everything up for himself. Tom is obviously very intelligent to a degree but then does let his emotions get the best of him, which I believe will cause him to get caught eventually.

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