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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> June 2001 >> Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous Liaisons

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
June 2001
IMDB Name:
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Stephen Frears
MPAA Rating:

Wanton Infliction

The primary players in Dangerous Liaisons are unrepentantly cruel. They take great delight in manipulating those around them for both as sources of sexual gratification and as targets and carriers for emotional wounds. These are artisans of a sort, shaping those around them into puppets to further their goals, and I loved listening to the subtle verbal tricks they employed. It's not often that the blackmailer can make the victim enjoy it as much as the perpetrator! Christopher Hampton's adaptation of the Choderlos de Laclos novel is loaded with exceptional dialogue that crackles with wit while being prim and proper in the utmost. de Laclos's story is a suspenseful thriller driven entirely by conversations, and the backstabbing is always intriguing. I admit that the plot is a bit complicated, and I was helped somewhat by having already seen Cruel Intentions, a 1999 adaptation. The theater-heavy cast, led by John Malkovich and Glenn Close, gives the lines the performances they deserve, making for a richly satisfying experience.

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Copyright 2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.