Andrew Scott spellbinds critics in Netflix's Hitchcock-esque 'Ripley' series

Virgin Radio

4 Apr 2024, 10:27

L to R: Andrew Scott in Netflix's Ripley

Credit: Netflix

Irish actor Andrew Scott mesmerises in a noir adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's classic.

If you still need your Saltburn fix, then Andrew Scott is the man for you.

Netflix's latest offering, Ripley, has hit the screens, and critics are buzzing with excitement over the spellbinding performance of Andrew Scott and the Hitchcockian aura of the series.

Adapting Patricia Highsmith's iconic 1955 crime novel, Ripley, Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian has crafted a noir take that pays homage to the classics while offering a fresh perspective.

Critics have been quick to draw parallels between the series and the works of Alfred Hitchcock, praising its style and pace reminiscent of the great 1940s directors.

Christopher Stephens of The Daily Mail declares: "This isn't just television, it's a homage to great 1940s directors such as Carol Reed or Alfred Hitchcock."

At the heart of the acclaim lies Andrew Scott's portrayal of Tom Ripley, described as 'spellbinding' by early viewers.

Lucy Mangan of The Guardian gives it a stellar five-star review, praising Scott's performance: "Scott’s Tom is everything and nothing, and mesmeric either way… There is magic at work here."

However, not all critics are singing the same tune.

Adam White of The Independent feels Scott is miscast, likening him to an EastEnders character and suggesting he looks more like a lost Mitchell brother than a high society interloper.

Set in the swinging 60s, Ripley follows the titular character's journey as he is hired to bring back a wealthy New Yorker's son, Dickie, played by Johnny Flynn, from Italy.

What starts as a simple mission spirals into a web of deceit and murder as Tom fights to maintain his position among the elite.

The star-studded cast, including John Malkovich and Dakota Fanning, adds depth to the narrative.

However, some reviewers felt the supporting cast fell short, with Dakota Fanning unable to match Gwyneth Paltrow's portrayal of Marge Sherwood, and Johnny Flynn paling in comparison to Jude Law's Dickie Greenleaf, from the Matt Damon led The Talented Mr.Ripley that tells the same story.

Despite mixed reviews for the supporting cast, Zaillian's visuals have left critics awestruck.

Carol Midgely of The Times describes the series as: "so cinematic that it feels less like a TV series and more like a very long film," labelling it "a completely hypnotic experience."

Although Scott is known for embodying intense and villainous characters like Moriarty in Sherlock and corrupt spy C in James Bond, Ripley was something entirely new.

For Andrew Scott, tackling the role of Tom Ripley was no easy feat. Speaking to Vanity Fair, he admitted: "I found it mentally and physically really hard."

Despite the challenge, Fleabag star Scott’s appearance in Ripley follows his acclaimed performance in All of Us Strangers alongside Paul Mescal.

He went on to emphasise the importance of crafting his own interpretation of the character, free from preconceived notions.

Scott continued: "You have to throw all those out, try not to listen to them, and go 'Okay, well, I have to have the courage to create our own version and my own understanding of the character.'"

As Ripley continues to captivate audiences, Andrew Scott's mesmerising performance stands out as the crowning jewel in this stylish adaptation of Highsmith's timeless classic.

Ripley is available to stream on Netflix now.