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 Topic: The Talented Mr. Ripley - A gay movie?

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Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Posts: 1

Physical Location: Denmark

Posted: 9 Jan 2004, 7:56 am    Post subject: The Talented Mr. Ripley - A gay movie? Reply with quote


One of my favourite movies (at times painful to watch as it is), 'The Talented Mr. Ripley', has always intrigued me. Yet it was not until the last viewing that the question of gay identities occured to me in relation to the movie. To me the movie plays as a tragedy with Tom in the role of the protagonist whose choices by his very standing in society are very constricted and only become more so in the course of the movie - in short, more destiny's creature than someone in control of his own situation. I'd be very interested if anybody has an opinion on some of these questions (or others pertaining to the movie):

- To what extent is Tom's sexuality central to his identity/his actions? And what is his sexuality?
- Is Tom a villiain in the classic movie sense? A (gay) hero (as a commentator on IMDB has suggested - somewhat to my surprise)? None/all of the above?
- The conncetion between being Dickie Greenleaf and being with Dickie Greenleaf?
- "Tom has someone who loves him".... So why does Tom kill Peter?

What fascinates me more than anything is the diversity of perceptions of this movie which points to the fact that the characters and the narrative depicted therein is much harder to categorize - sexually and good/evilly - than most nominally 'gay movies'. Mind you there's nothing wrong with the 'good gay guy/girl triumphs over evil homophobes, showing them a) the error of their ways and b) the ambiguity of their own sexuality'-kind of movie but I think this movie and those like it give more food for thought. Looking forward to your thoughts.

- Mads
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