Ripley 2024 tv mini series review

In crafting his rendition of the tale for the “Ripley” series, showrunner Steve Zaillian looked to the text as his guiding star.

Despite the enduring presence of Anthony Minghella’s 1999 cinematic adaptation, Zaillian drew his primary inspiration from Patricia Highsmith’s original 1955 novel, fashioning it into an eight-episode journey.

“At its core, a novel can’t be condensed into two hours,” Zaillian remarked during an early screening of the Netflix production in New York City. “It requires eight, ten, twelve hours — and I aimed to capture the rhythm and elegance of storytelling found within those pages in this format.”

The book’s influence also extended to the show’s choice of a black-and-white aesthetic, as Zaillian highlighted the prevalent use of black-and-white in films of the era. (Although not entirely accurate — by the mid-’50s, color films were on the rise.)

“If Patricia envisioned a film adaptation at the time of writing, it would likely have been in black and white,” he mused. “The cover of the book I had was monochrome, so as I delved into it, that imagery naturally stuck.”

“I also sensed that this narrative — the one she crafted, the one I sought to convey — possessed a sinister, dark quality,” he continued. “I couldn’t envision it unfolding amidst the picturesque backdrop of Italy with its vibrant hues and sunny skies.”

Zaillian and cinematographer Robert Elswit paid homage to film noir while consciously avoiding its clichés and trappings. The initial episodes bask in daylight and scenic beauty, reserving more overt noir elements for the latter half. This approach complements the deliberate pacing of the series, a point emphasized by star Andrew Scott.

“I believe the true triumph of this rendition lies in how it trains the audience to engage with the narrative,” Scott reflected. “In an age dominated by rapid-fire communication and fleeting attention spans, there’s a real joy in savoring detailed descriptions over several pages, much like one would in reading a novel. The synergy between the monochromatic cinematography and the pacing and mood of the show is evident, allowing us actors to fully immerse ourselves in the story.”


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By acinetv