Dangerous Liaisons, Choderlos de Laclos' 1792 novel of sexual treachery among the French aristocracy, has generated no fewer than nine movies already, among them a Japanese version, a Polish version, a French version set at a ski resort, and a Gen X version, Cruel Intentions. This Korean feature by E J-yong transplants the story to the Chosun dynasty of the late 19th century. The story's biggest dramatic challenge has always been persuading an audience that the repellent nobleman Valmont (here renamed Jo-won and played by Bae Yong-joon) could seduce the chaste widow Marie (Lady Sook, played by Jeon Do-yeon). This film doesn't really clear the bar, but it's handsomely mounted and proves that heartless manipulation of the weak and gullible never goes out of style. In Korean with subtitles. 124 min.
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