The film “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988) is a story about sex being a gamesmanship. Its spirit is keyed to Glenn Close’s nakedly malevolent smile. She plays the role of Marquise de Merteuil who is a Parisian socialite and whose days are spent fabricating convoluted erotic intrigues. Poised before her vanity table, she seemed like an evil queen in a fairytale— hideous and majestically corrupt. The movie is centered on the desire of Glenn Close and John Malkovich, which lusciously made the film a naughty experience. This kind of wit and propinquity is extraordinarily unusual in a period film. Sex was their mere motive.

As a production, the film “Dangerous Liaisons” stands tall with its splendid costume designs and elegant sets. It recreated an 18th century story in the most convincing style. The dresses of Glenn Close, Swoosie Kurtz, Michelle Pfeiffer and Uma Thurman who played as Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, Madame Marie de Tourvel and Cecile de Volanges respectively, down to the cast who played the role of servants were lovely. The designers used period techniques in the making of the dresses. The edges of the gowns ruffled and the hems were pinked and prettified— just how it should have been done.

John Malkovich and Keanu Reeves, two of the leading characters in the story, were also perfectly dressed in 18th century style tuxedos. Usually, costumes were built up from the correct under garments to the perfect-matching dresses to complete the correct silhouette. The fashionably-trimmed outfits used which were dictated by crinolines, corsets and bustles which put great emphasis on designers and costumiers. Overall, the movie was rich, beautifully made and remarkable. What happened in the story is mirrored in the changes on the characters. What began as a delectable amusement deepens into a tragedy.

Many viewers admired the cinematography of Philippe Rousselot. The richness of the ending is not quite what many expected at the beginning of the story. The passion, the story pace and the twist came as a surprise. The film was truly remarkably done. “Tom Jones”, an Academy Award-winning 1963 British comedy film is based on Henry Fielding’s classic novel, “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” (1749). Most of the scenes in this film were taken at the Bridgewater Castle Street is located in Somerset, England. This is a market town and administrative centre of the Sedgemoor district— the leading industrial town in the country.

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Bridgewater is basically located on the major communication routes to South West England. The characters were dressed in lavish 18th century costumes and the sets were perfectly made. The story features Albert Finney playing Tom Jones as the ostensible hero. “Tom Jones” was one of the most significantly acclaimed and famous comedy movies of its time. Directed by Tony Richardson and screenplay adapted by playwright John Osborne, the movie is distinguished for its unusual comic style. The movie’s story is distinctively different from that of the “Dangerous Liaisons”, where lust and desire was used to achieve a deceitful agenda.

Tom Jones, although depicted as a womanizer, grew up to be a lively young man whose good looks were accompanied with a kind heart that made him very popular with the women in their place. However, he truly loved only one woman, Sophy Western (played by Susannah York), who returned his passion. Tom was illegitimate yet he wanted to marry Sophy above anything, despite the fact that Sophy’s family despised him. The woman however was bound to marry someone else, whose social level was way far from where Tom was.

Sophy was determined to fight for her love for Tom. The fact that Sophy was willing to suffer many consequences showed that she was marrying purely for love. Although Henry Fielding showed condemnation for sex outside marriage in many of his works, he however never despised illegitimacy. This was made evident in one of the lines mentioned in the movie: “However guilty the parents might be, the children were certainly innocent”. However, Tom does not illustrate such a perfect picture of morality. The film showed Tom being tempted and failing to resist.

He was seduced by Molly Seagrim, although it is important to also note that he stayed away from the woman for a period of three months before giving in. Tom did not like the idea of corrupting a young woman, especially one who is the daughter of a friend. This shows that however soft Tom seemed in dealing with temptations, he did his best to stay away from is as much as he possibly could. When Tom yielded into the temptation, he was portrayed to the readers as the victim. This was particularly showed in his relationship with Miss Waters, one of the significant women characters in the story.

The aggressiveness in her seductive attack merely explained that it was difficult for Tom to refuse such a temptation. Even though someone is basically good or bad, people are still influenced by their passions. This then causes a lapse in a good person. Similar to the character of John Malkovich in the “Dangerous Liaisons”, he was overwhelmed by his deceitful desire to maintain his reputation—that is, showing women how he can outwit and outdo every single one of them. At the end of the movie he realized that he was capable of loving someone, rather than just looking at women as toys and objects of lust.


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