Dangerous Liaisons

Watch Dangerous Liaisons

"Lust. Seduction. Revenge. The game as you've never seen it played before."
  • R
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 59 min
  • 7.6  (75,144)
  • 74

Dangerous Liaisons is a psychological drama film from 1988, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The movie is set in the French aristocracy of the 18th century, telling the story of two upper-class schemers and their elaborate game of manipulation, seduction, and betrayal. Close plays the character of Marquise de Merteuil, a woman with a reputation for promiscuity and a talent for deception. She's recently been left by her lover, another member of the French nobility, and is determined to take revenge on him by ruining his current romantic interest, Cécile de Volanges (played by Uma Thurman in her debut role), and at the same time, seeking pleasure for herself.

Her accomplice in the game is the seductive and manipulative Vicomte de Valmont, played by Malkovich. Vicomte has his own motives for playing this game, as he's been challenged by a former lover, Madame de Tourvel (played by Pfeiffer), to seduce her and win her heart. Valmont and Merteuil form a cynical alliance to help each other in their individual pursuits of pleasure and power, and the movie unravels as they implement their plans.

The film is based on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' 18th-century epistolary novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, which means the dangerous liaisons. The book explores the themes of seduction, love, power, and revenge, all of which are prominently featured in the movie. The movie not only stays true to the book's content but also adapts it to the screen in an intelligent and effective way.

One of the strengths of the movie is the performances of its three leads, who all deliver powerful and nuanced portrayals of their respective characters. Malkovich's Valmont is charming and smarmy, but also cunning and cruel when necessary. Close's Merteuil is manipulative and icy, but also vulnerable and needy underneath the surface. Pfeiffer's Tourvel is pure-hearted and naive, but also tormented and conflicted by her feelings.

Additionally, the movie's period setting and elaborate costumes and sets are all visually stunning, transporting the viewer to the opulent world of the 18th-century French aristocracy. The costumes, especially those worn by Close, are lavish and sophisticated, and add to the movie's overall aesthetic.

The film's soundtrack is also notable, featuring classical music pieces that are perfectly suited to the setting and atmosphere of the movie. The use of music and sound is skillfully employed to enhance the tension and emotions of each scene.

The movie is a dark and tragic tale, focusing on the destructive power of human desire and the consequences of using others for personal gain. The characters, though morally flawed and often cruel, are complex and nuanced, with their actions and motivations revealed gradually throughout the film.

In conclusion, Dangerous Liaisons is a gripping and visually stunning drama movie that explores the themes of power, desire, and betrayal in a richly realized period setting. With its excellent performances, gorgeous costumes and sets, and effective use of music and sound, the movie is a masterful retelling of a classic story, and a must-see for fans of psychological dramas.

Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 59 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 74.

Dangerous Liaisons
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 59 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (75,144)
  • Metascore