Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Dangerous Liaisons Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………….

Dangerous Liaisons Movie Review

Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 historical drama film directed by Stephen Frears and starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer and Uma Thurman. It is an engaging, but flawed movie.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the story here. It was too soapy for my taste. The movie is filled cheats and intrigues and that just isn’t my cup of tea frankly. The movie managed to overcome its soapy story with great acting and technical aspects, but it still remains a mostly shallow film. The problem here is that it never has any conclusion whatsoever. We never get to see some payoff or a message or a critique. The characters and their relationships are just presented to us, but never really explored and that was very problematic.

……………………………………………………………………………….

You’ll find the shame is like the pain, you only feel it once

……………………………………………………………………………….

Dangerous Liaisons Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………….

Dangerous Liaisons is filled with very well developed, but extremely unlikable characters. The movie’s quality shouldn’t depend on the likability of its characters, but here they were so insufferable that they impacted my viewing of the movie which is why I consider it a flaw. Vicomte in particular is despicable and I just couldn’t stand him. Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil is an interesting character, but also unlikable and I felt that the filmmakers didn’t do justice to her character who had a lot more potential.

The relationship between the two is at first interesting, but eventually starts to follow a predictable path. Madame Marie is awfully weak and such a poor female character. The same goes for Thurman’s character. And Danceny serves his purpose, but is rather forgettable. And I have to say that this film is sexist. It just is. It is even sexist for the time period that it portrays. What is even worse is that it’s ignorant toward both sexes, not just female. Men here are portrayed as sex obsessed ego maniacs (or weak and inconsequential in Danceny’s case) and of course women are weak and just too feeble to defend themselves. There are some exceptions here, but even in Marquise we get a flawed female character as even she succumbs to a typical stereotypical treatment in the third act.

……………………………………………………………………………….

Dangerous Liaisons Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………….

Dangerous Liaisons is a technically superb movie for sure. Everything here looks elaborate and expensive. The costumes are absolutely astonishing, the cinematography is excellent and the score is also pretty good. John Malkovich is the weakest link of the actors as his performance is decidedly one-note at times as is his character, but Glenn Close is absolutely terrific and she steals the show here and maybe should have gotten an Oscar for this role. The other actresses are fine, but nothing particularly remarkable.

The movie is really well directed and very well edited. Yes, I’ve had some major problems with it, but there’s no denying that it is an exceptionally involving picture and I was entertained from beginning to end. It consistently had that going for it coupled with an energetic and playful execution that was great. But the humor could have been better. The tone is good, the dialogue is also pretty good, but the emotion is mostly lacking.

……………………………………………………………………………….

Dangerous Liaisons Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………….

Of its Oscar nominations, it deserved all of them and it deserved to win for those technical aspects. But it didn’t deserve the Best Picture nod and Glenn Close probably should have won for Best Actress. All in all, it’s a solid, but deeply flawed movie.

Dangerous Liaisons is a very involving film that is very well made with great costumes, score, direction, editing and an excellent performance from Glenn Close plus it is pleasantly playful and energetic in its tone, but the film still has a pretty soapy plot, too unlikable characters, it is sexist against both sexes and it lacks a definite payoff.

My Rating – 3.5

……………………………………………………………………………….

Share
Posted in 1980s, 1988, Drama, FILM DECADES, Historical, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.