Monday, April 9, 2012
MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Dangerous Liaisons
"Dangerous Liaisons" is a deliciously devious film by Stephen Frears. It tells the story of 18th century French aristocrats who decide to engage in games of lust and deceit for their personal entertainment. In the lead roles, Glenn Close and John Malkovich fully embrace the high drama of the story. Although seemingly ill-fitted for the role of the sexy seducer, Malkovich's casting is inspired, as he really embodies the sliminess of Vicomte Sébastien de Valmont. As his counterpart, Close delivers a performance for the ages, portraying both the restraint and simmering passion of Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil with equal candor. Together, the chemistry between the acting duo is palpable as they delight in their manipulation of others, fully ignorant of the depravity of their actions. The supporting cast works well too, as the entire film is ably executed. The costumes are a character of their own, evoking the extravagance of the bourgeoisie in pre-revolution France. The opening scene in particular is a magnificent showcase of the detailed costume design, makeup and hair. Add these elements to the wonderful score, meticulous production design and sensational script and you get a fine film indeed.