Dangerous Liaisons ★★★★

Dangerous Liaisons doesn’t try to soften Valmont‘s actions with an end that might justify his means. The purpose of his game isn’t to reach any long-term goal; it’s the pleasure of playing the game itself. Lying, gaslighting, manipulating women into giving up their morality for a burst of temporary gratification. He relishes in the illicitness of that moment, when a person’s desire overrides their vanity. 

Interestingly, this process is also what makes the film so entertaining to watch. John Malkovich’s predatory seductions, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s struggle to resist them is at the heart of this period drama. It is pointless and disturbing (borderline nonconsensual at times) but so morbidly fascinating that you can’t look away.

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