Tom Ripley persuades a man to commit a murder for a large sum of money. The situation goes out of control, and that man must escape trouble
|Directed by||Liliana Cavani|
|Starring||John Malkovich |
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Editing by||Jon Harris|
|Distributed by||Fine Line Features (USA)|
|Release date(s)||February 16, 2004|
|Running time||110 min.|
In the third Ripliad novel, Tom Ripley is a wealthy man in his early thirties. He lives in Villeperce, France, with his French wife, Heloise, who is from a wealthy family. Tom spends his days living comfortably in his house, Belle Ombre, until an associate of his, an American criminal named Reeves Minot, asks him if he can commit a murder for him. Ripley — who "detest[s] murder, unless absolutely necessary" — turns down the offer of $96,000 dollars for the two hits, and Reeves goes back to Hamburg, Germany.
Ripley is insulted at a party by his neighbor, Jonathan Trevanny, a poor British picture framer, living in France, who has leukemia. As revenge, he tells Minot to convince Trevanny to commit the two murders. To ensure that the plan will work, Ripley tells Minot to fabricate evidence that Trevanny's leukemia has worsened. Trevanny, who is desperate to support his wife and child, panics and accepts the offer.
After committing the first murder, Trevanny insists that he is through as a hired gun. Minot (with Ripley's help) fabricates another medical test that says Trevanny is dying, persuading him to murder a Mafia chieftain, this time on a train. He freezes up on the train, and is about to give up and return home — when, unexpectedly, Ripley shows up and helps him execute the Mob boss and his bodyguards.
While on the run from the Mob, Ripley and Trevanny form a strange sort of bond, as both share the burden of running from the same crime. Ripley confesses his role in Trevanny's plight, and promises to help him through the ordeal (Minot, unsurprisingly, has washed his hands of the whole thing.) While on the run together, Ripley and Trevanny learn to appreciate each other's lives; Ripley learns what it is like to look after someone other than himself, while Trevanny learns to abandon his conscience and do whatever it takes to survive.
Trevanny's wife soon becomes suspicious, however, and threatens to leave him if he does not come clean with her. While he doesn't reveal anything to her, he begs her to go somewhere safe with their son, and then goes to Belle Ombre to hide with Ripley, who has similarly sent Heloise away. The two of them interrogate (and eventually kill) an assassin sent by the Mob to kill them. Trevanny's wife then shows up at the house, demanding answers — when a group of mob gunmen appear, shooting to kill. Ripley, who has experience with this kind of thing, easily escapes harm, but Trevanny is mortally wounded, and dies in his wife's arms.
Ripley, as an apology to Trevanny's wife, twists Minot's arm to make sure she and her son receive all off the money owed for Trevanny's service. He then returns to his normal life, as if nothing has happened.
Ripley's Game (2002) is a feature film based on Ripley's Game, the third novel in Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley series (the Ripliad), written in 1974.
The film stars John Malkovich as Tom Ripley and Dougray Scott as Jonathan Trevanny.