Dangerous Liaisons (1988) Review

Marquise de Merteuil is a scheming widow who makes a bet with her manipulative ex-lover Vicomte de Valmont regarding the corruption of a recently married woman, but that is not the only woman he goes after …


Dangerous Liaisons is a difficult film in terms of the story and how the impact of the actions of one man can cause so much chaos and devastation in quite a short period of time. Marquise thinks she can easily get Vicomte to do what she wants but she does not really take into consideration that he always wants more.

I found some of the scenes quite difficult to watch in terms of Cecile de Volanges becoming a target and she is very young and not experienced at all. I could not understand why he pretty much rapes her, yet she then seems to enjoy it. I mean so bizarre, I actually thought about turning the film off at that point in all honesty.

The thing is though the corruption and measures they were going to for the bet was something that could have been a lot more interesting. It also makes you fully scared and paranoid that someone would try and do something like that to you, I mean maybe not now with all the social media and smartphones but it creates a sense of dread. That has to be a massive positive in terms of the story telling, even if I could not get on board with certain scenes.

Considering this is part of my Best Picture Project, it’s actually a little bit crazy that it was nominated for seven Oscars winning three of them! It didn’t win best picture but I can understand that the way it was filmed, how it looked in terms of costumes would be accepted by the academy.

Glenn Close was impressive and that scream at the end was utterly haunting, Michelle Pfeiffer was also decent but that was where the casting seemed to then fall away. John Malkovich was drastically miscast in my opinion, I just could not and did not believe him to be a womaniser as he did not have the looks or indeed the sheer charm to pull any of that off, I felt as though that let the film down big style. Keanu Reeves was another who just seemed to awkward and I felt the same for Uma Thurman, which was a massive shame as I thought the cast looked an impressive line up.

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