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Ripley Review: Andrew Scott Cons Everyone In This Chilling, Stylish Series – SlashFilm

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There’s a coldness to “Ripley,” in sharp contrast to its sunny locales. Part of this is due to the inhuman-like nature of its lead character — Tom is an enigma, and we can never really get close to him. Still, Scott’s performance and Zaillian’s direction both find ways to make us somehow care about Ripley, even when he’s committing horrible acts. We get so wrapped up in the process that the thought of him getting caught sets us on edge; despite our better natures, we want him to get away with it all. 

As good as Scott and the other actors are, Elswit’s gorgeous, haunting cinematography is the secret weapon; the real draw. The camera is often held at a distance, giving us wide-open shots of rooms with lofty ceilings, creating a great sense of infinite space. Then, in the blink of an eye, the footage will focus on a close-up of a hand; a window; an ashtray; a glass of wine; a painting. The shadowy works of Caravaggio become a touchstone — Ripley becomes enamored with him, and Elswit’s cinematography seems to mimic that blending of light and darkness at times. 

From a purely visual standpoint, “Ripley” is one of the best original shows Netflix has to offer. Story-wise, it feels slightly lopsided — as if there’s not quite enough here to sustain eight episodes. And yet, should Zaillian and Netflix continue onward and adapt Highsmith’s other Ripley novels into new seasons, I’d gladly return to this world. I want to see what Tom Ripley gets up to next. 

/Film Rating: 7 out of 10

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