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Dangerous Liaisons (2012)
"Wi-heom-han gyan-gye" (original title)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 1,265 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 7 user | 23 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

In Shanghai, an aging socialite's infatuation with her ex-boyfriend manifests itself as a risky game, where her former lover agrees to seduce, then abandon a naive young woman.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Cecilia Cheung ...
Mo Jieyu
...
Xie Yifan
...
Shawn Dou ...
Dai Wenzhou
...
Du Ruixue
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dan Tong Han ...
Socialite
Rong Rong ...
Mrs. Zhu
Candy Wang ...
Beibei
Shuli Xiao ...
Gui Zhen
Zhang Yun ...
A Wen
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Storyline

In Shanghai, an aging socialite's infatuation with her ex-boyfriend manifests itself as a risky game, where her former lover agrees to seduce, then abandon a naive young woman.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

27 September 2012 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Liaisons  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Version of Nebezpecné známosti (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mysteries of the Orient.
24 May 2014 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

An adaptation of the two hundred year old French novel of the same name, director Jin-ho Hur's Dangerous Liaisons remains fairly faithful to the book, with the noticeable exception of landing the story in 1930s China.

In a world where power is as metaphysical as it is monetary, the sensual and conniving Miss Mo (Cecilia Cheung) enlists the allure of notorious playboy Xie Yifan (Jang Dong-gun) to help her toy with the relationships of unsuspecting acquaintances. When the cruel pair makes a bet that Yifan has no hope of seducing the prim and proper Du Fenyu (Zhang Ziyi)- a wager neither party has even considered losing- matters begin to spiral out of control as young lovers Beibei and Dai are thrown into the mix and the human element rears its ugly head.

The film looks fantastic. The overall camera-work is inspired and dynamic, while the interior cinematography is tinged with a golden hue that gives each scene a unique and stunning richness. Exterior shots are almost Snyder-esque, making modest use of computer-generated imagery to recreate post-WW1 Shanghai in all its splendour.

But aesthetic appeal aside, the strength of this film rests on its characters. Here the audience is presented with a couple of individuals who have achieved great success in their own lives by blocking out their natural human states and manipulating 'weaker-minded' counterparts for their own amusement. As a result, the film accommodates a lot of intrigue when these raw emotions inevitably boil over and consume them.

Unfortunately, Hur's ambition in attempting to weave a multitude of arcs together during the third act gets the better of him, as a need to neatly wrap up the holistic plot overwhelms the emotional investment placed in each solitary character. As the closing credits roll, it becomes apparent that Dangerous Liaisons lacked the urgency and genuine thrill demanded, or at least permitted, by the subject matter.

It is bittersweet, then, to assert that the film stumbles at the final hurdle when everything leading up to that point is actually quite fascinating. No character is omitted from the story for any extended time, motifs in the form of letters, mirrors and closed doors intelligently hint at the exclusive, secluded world these people live in and the epilogue is rare in that it is both cathartic and memorable in the way that many others are not.

At its core, Dangerous Liaisons is an atypical and worthwhile tragic love story; Shakespearean in enterprise despite lacking in execution.

*There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on jnatsis@iprimus.com.au and let me know what you thought of my review. If you're looking for a writer for your movie website or other publication, I'd also love to hear from you.*


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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based on Laclos/Hampton ? more-13
I'd like to see the actresses switch roles... Joyylin
Soundtrack fandomfatale
A bit too imaginary. grandscholar
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