The Talented Mr Ripley Analysis

Topics: Communication

Analyse how symbolism was used to highlight the purpose of the visual or oral text(s).

In the film The Talented Mr Ripley, directed by Anthony Minghella, symbolism was used to highlight the importance of the idea of binaries not fitting when it comes to humans. The symbols used to explore this idea are clothing, mirrors and water and the scenes these symbols have been portrayed in are the scene where Tom lies about attending Princeton, the “May I” scene, and in Dickies death scene.

The film techniques used to really highlight these key symbols and the idea they are representing are lighting, camera angles, costume and dialogue.

The first time symbolism was used to highlight the idea of binaries not fitting when it comes to humans is during the start of the film where Tom wears a Princeton jacket and lies about attending the school when he does not. The symbol being used in this is clothing. From the very start we can clearly see that Tom is a liar, but we are tricked into feeling almost sympathetic toward him.

He is introduced to us as a poor young man who is obviously intrigued with the idea of being wealthy and important, thus the reason he lies to Dickie’s father about attending Princeton. The first thing Dickie’s father notices about Tom is “his” Princeton jacket, so he approaches Tom which makes him feel very important and says, “We couldn’t help noticing your jacket.” There’s a close up shot on Tom’s face and half of it is shadowed which I consider to be foreshadowing as it shows Tom’s reactions and emotions and shows us how easy it is for him to lie, it also shows that Tom from the very beginning is never fully exposed, he always has secrets.

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Normally, as humans we would see lying as something wrong, but in Tom’s case, we let it slide and don’t really think of the severity or impact that this lie could cause because the director purposefully wants us to feel sympathetic towards Tom because it makes hi…

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The Talented Mr Ripley Analysis
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