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A scene from Hur Jin-Ho’s take on Dangerous Liaisons.

2 out of 4 stars

Title
Dangerous Liaisons
Directed by
Hur Jin-Ho
Starring
Zhang Ziyi, Jang Dong-gun, Cecilia Cheung
Genre
Action
Country
China
Language
Mandarin
Year
2012

Director Hur Jin-Ho takes the famed intrigue of Dangerous Liaisons and transposes it to a heavily glamorized – and Westernized – Shanghai in the 1930s with Chinese nationalist stirrings as a faintly painted backdrop. Much of the cynicism and thus the fun gets lost in translation as the director leans heavily on the melodrama. The luminescent Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) stars as the upright Madame de Tourvel character but to the extent one can judge via subtitles, the key performances of Jang Dong-gun and Cecilia Cheung as Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil are pretty rather than sharp.

Sept. 10, 9:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall; Sept. 11, 3 p.m. ,Ryerson; Sept. 15, 6:45 p.m. Lightbox 1

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