When American Movie Star Christian Bale was preparing to star in the film adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley, his career was spiraling downward. He had just been cut from the film “The Passion of the Christ” for coming out too far into the religious realm. “I was not sure that I could take part in something like that,” Bale confessed.
But “The Talented Mr. Ripley” proved to be a different story. Gone was the movie star who was used to playing sophisticated villains and for a whole year he was confined to his home, refusing to leave his home without the approval of his wife of twenty years.
Since then, Bale has dominated his career by returning to his roots. From playing the role of Rupert Pupkin in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” to playing a man who is known for his excessive, but often outlandish behavior, he has won his position as one of the biggest stars of all time.
Yet now, it seems that Bale’s work is falling off in style. Not only is he not in a “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” type of movie like the recent “Terminator Salvation”, but he is also not in “Titanic” Star Wars” movies, despite all the hype.
This is not to say that “The Talented Mr. Ripley” is not worth seeing, nor that it is any less interesting than the other four movies he has starred in. However, it would seem that his career has hit a ceiling.
Bale is not alone in this predicament. Many Hollywood stars are fighting the same battle as he is, from Morgan Freeman to Jack Nicholson.
What is happening to celebrity culture? It seems that Hollywood, a place for dreams and inspiration, is now following the same path as its rival, the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical companies have built up their empires by making a profitable product that produces results, which are perceived by the public as being the result of other people.
But there are many sick people who need to see these products to cure their own illnesses. This creates a conflict between the product image. Hence, there has been an increasing hostility towards what is termed a “brand”.
Whether it is drugs, Hollywood, or entertainment, it seems that the Jaded Public is becoming more intolerant to what it considers as a “brand”. Some will see this phenomenon as a bad thing for the economy, but others view it as a good thing. Perhaps that’s the real problem – we may not want to pay for things that we do not really need.
While some may see the struggle as a result of the media being “misinformative”, this can’t be the case. More likely is that the public’s belief in a brand or image has become so strong that they cannot believe anything else.
When it comes to celebrities and brands, brands are portrayed as being nothing more than tools. A slogan can only hold water if it is widely believed in by the public. Indeed, this perception has led to a decline in popularity, especially amongst the younger generation.
Perhaps it is because the Christian Bale movie “The Talented Mr. Ripley” doesn’t carry a brand image. Despite being popular with fans, this movie is unlikely to return to the millions of dollars that it made back in 2020.