A 18th Century Study of the War between the Sexes
One of my top ten movies is Dangerous Liaisons, a screenplay directed by Stephen Frears. The two leading actors in the film are Glenn Close as the Marquise de Merteuil and John Malkovich as the Vicomte de Valmont. The reason that this movie is one of my favorites is because it depicts the competition, or war, between the sexes. Although the setting of the movie is in the 18th century, the intent of the plot can be as current today. It does use the restrictive life of women in that time period, but it also shows how women could work their way around those restrictions. Essentially the conclusion of the movie proves a common theory that what goes around, comes around or evil begets evil.
The plot of this movie circles around the two main characters and the many lives they are willing to destroy in the name of revenge and competition. The Marquise begins her machinations in retaliation against a previous lover, but ends the film trying to destroy her close companion, The Vicomte. All of her actions are based on her jealousy and her hatred of a woman’s station in life at the time. The Vicomte acts and reacts with a sense of entitlement, a true womanizer, who feels that his social standing will allow him to do whatever he pleases. He is the epitome of what the Marquise so despises in men of his station. The constant back and forth between the two, and the lengths that both are willing to go are indicative of the power play that has gone on for centuries between men and women.
I personally love movies that show a wide range of character development, either good or bad, with a lesson at the end. This movie provides that in many of the characters, but it is especially significant in the two main characters. We watch the Marquise display a virtuous persona to the public, while in private her evil side becomes apparent. She progresses through the movie in ever...
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