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Dangerous Liaisons (2012) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Jang Dong Gun (Actor) | Zhang Ziyi (Actor) | Cecilia Cheung (Actor) | Lu Yan (Actor)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Jang Dong Gun, Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung star in the 2012 Chinese adaptation of the French novel Dangerous Liaisons. Acclaimed Korean director Hur Jin Ho (One Fine Spring Day) transplants the tale of love, lust and manipulation to 1930s Shanghai. The Pan-Asian cast delivers glamor and star power in spades in this opulent and entertaining adaptation. Appearing in his second Chinese production after The Promise, Jang Dong Gun is at his charismatic best as the wealthy womanizer caught between Zhang Ziyi, as the chaste object of seduction, and Cecilia Cheung, as the femme fatale who sends everyone down the path of ruin.

Wealthy playboy Xie Yifan (Jang Dong Gun) has never met a woman he can't have, but the one he desires the most is businesswoman Mo Jieyu (Cecilia Cheung), who plays the cynical game of love and lies just as well. The two decide to make a bet on the chastity of Yifan's second cousin, virtuous widow Du Fenyu (Zhang Ziyi). If Yifan succeeds in bedding Fenyu, he gets Jieyu. And thus begins the dangerous push and pull of love and seduction. Though Fenyu resists Yifan's advances at first, they gradually fall under each other's spells as lives and hearts spiral out of control.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Dangerous Liaisons (2012) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 危險關係 (2012) (DVD) (香港版) 危险关系 (2012) (DVD) (香港版) 危険関係 (2012) (DVD) (香港版) Dangerous Liaisons (2012) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Jang Dong Gun (Actor) | Zhang Ziyi (Actor) | Cecilia Cheung (Actor) | Lu Yan (Actor) | Candy Wang (Actor) | Shawn Dou (Actor) | Yan Ge Ling 張東健 (Actor) | 章子怡 (Actor) | 張柏芝 (Actor) | 盧燕 (Actor) | 王奕瑾 (Actor) | 竇 驍 (Actor) | 嚴 歌苓 张东健 (Actor) | 章子怡 (Actor) | 张柏芝 (Actor) | 卢燕 (Actor) | 王奕瑾 (Actor) | 窦 骁 (Actor) | 严歌苓 チャン・ドンゴン (Actor) | 章子怡(チャン・ツィイー) (Actor) | 張栢芝(セシリア・チャン) (Actor) | Lu Yan (Actor) | Candy Wang (Actor) | 竇驍 (ショーン・ドウ) (Actor) | 嚴歌苓(ゲリン・ヤン) 장 동건 (Actor) | 장쯔이 (Actor) | 장 백지 (Actor) | Lu Yan (Actor) | Candy Wang (Actor) | Shawn Dou (Actor) | Yan Ge Ling
Director: Hur Jin Ho 許 秦豪 許 秦豪 ホ・ジノ 허진호
Release Date: 2012-12-28
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong, China
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIA
Duration: 111 (mins)
Publisher: Kam & Ronson Enterprises Co Ltd
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1032196502

Product Information

Director: Hur Jin Ho

As war looms Shanghai, glamorous libertine Mo JiYu (Cecilia Cheugn) runs into playboy Xie YiFan (Jang Dong-gun) an ex boyfriend who’s never stopped loving her and persuades him to play a treacherous game. Xie must seduce the innocent and naïve Du FenYu (Zhang Ziyi) and then dump her. But the game becomes increasingly dangerous as Xie falls in love with Du, a game that will lead them all towards tragic and shocking consequences….
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Dangerous Liaisons (2012) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

December 27, 2012

Hur Jin-Ho's Dangerous Liaisons handsomely adapts 18th century French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses to 1930s China, making full use of its transplanted setting to spin an entertaining and wicked yarn. Initially, that is. Yan Geling's script takes liberties and omits scenes key to the original text, ultimately reducing what could have been an exemplary film into just a solid one. Dangerous Liaisons places a notch below other cinematic adaptations of Les Liaisons dangersueses but it's still quite watchable thanks to the opulent production, seductive narrative and enjoyable performances.

In the turmoil of 1931 Shanghai, wealthy businessman Xie Yifan (Jang Dong-Gun) and independent businesswoman Mo Jieyu (Cecilia Cheung) begin a sordid game. The scorned Jieyu wants to see virgin Beibei (Candy Wang) deflowered to exact revenge on her ex-lover, and enlists playboy Yifan to do the deed. Yifan refuses, instead targeting for seduction his second cousin Du Fenyu (Zhang Ziyi), a chaste widow who wants nothing to do with the notorious womanizer. However, Yifan also wants Jieyu, and with their amoral gamesmanship firmly established, the two strike a deal. If Yifan fails to bed Fenyu, Jieyu receives a key waterfront property. If Yifan succeeds in his conquest of Fenyu, then Yifan can do with Jieyu as he pleases.

This set-up is direct from Choderlos de Laclo's original epistolary novel, establishing both Yifan and Jieyu as self-absorbed and despicable individuals who are obviously made for each other. Yifan eventually accepts Jieyu's request to deflower Beibei for his own selfish purposes, and uses Beibei's crush, young art teacher Wenzhou (Shawn Dou), as a tool to reach his goal. Meanwhile, Fenyu continues to resist Yifan, strengthening his resolve and eventually softening his heart. However, by then emotions and alliances have frayed so irreparably that things can only end badly. If you've seen Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons (1988), E J-Yong's Untold Scandal (2003) or even Roger Kumble's Cruel Intentions (1999) then you know how this story ends.

Dangerous Liaisons is immediately engaging due to its well-traveled and very adaptable source material. This is a story of wicked narcissists engaging in gleeful manipulation, with plot twists fit for decadent dramas or trashy soaps. Hur Jin-Ho's version leans towards the former with its classy production design and fine costuming, but trends towards the latter with its bodice-bursting passions and twitchy camerawork. This is a quality production that's rich and immersive, but some of the artifice is gratuitous. Notably, the aerial views of period Shanghai are so obviously CGI that they reduce the film's ability to convince. Also, some cultural references may grate (i.e., the details referencing Chinese patriotism), but only those inclined to care will notice.

The lead actors make enjoying Dangerous Liaisons quite easy, as each turns in strong if quite obvious performances. Jang Dong-Gun plays the debonair and cocksure Yifan with delightful smarm, while Cecilia Cheung is entertainingly evil as the duplicitous Jieyu. The performances are occasionally lurid or overplayed, which is bad for awards but delicious for audiences that enjoy showy star performances. Even Zhang Ziyi's Fenyu is overdone, though instead of charismatic gazes or evil eyebrow-arching, Zhang offers breathy, barely-restrained passion. Everyone is beautiful, their acting is set-to-boil-over emotive — if you're an ardent fan of superstars Jang Dong-Gun, Cecilia Cheung or Zhang Ziyi then Dangerous Liaisons is surefire entertainment.

Unfortunately, one key scene is missing at the film's close, bringing Dangerous Liaisons in beneath expectations. Besides its melodrama tropes, Les Liaisons dangereuses is known for its scathing schadenfreude, so it's unfortunate that Hur Jin-Ho and company limit matters to those of the heart. Broken hearts are perfectly cinema-worthy, but it's the darker and more conflicted passions of the original text that make this tragedy so resonant and relevant. As is, Dangerous Liaisons is never a waste of time and can be recommended for many reasons, especially the strong collaboration by the Pan-Asian crew and cast. It's not one for the ages but this Dangerous Liaisons can be enjoyed and even relished.

by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "Dangerous Liaisons (2012) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


August 5, 2021

1 people found this review helpful

Truly dangerous liaisons Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Director Hur Jin Ho's Chinese version of the classic French novel 'Les liaisons dangereuses' does a lot of things very well, while striking a few oddly discordant notes as a result of the transposition of the story to 1931 Shanghai.

The three lead actors, Jang Dong Gun, as a wealthy business mogul addicted to toying with the affections of women, Cecilia Cheung, as a second business mogul who gets her kicks from destroying other women through manipulating their affairs, and Zhang Ziyi, as a chaste widow devoted to good works, all are well cast and play their parts as brilliantly as the director will permit them. Unfortunately, through the film's first half, director Hur felt the need to have his players give unnecessary reaction shots in nearly every scene. Perhaps the director wasn't giving his audience sufficient credit for their ability to follow the story.

One of the problems associated with moving the story from 18th century France to 1931 Shanghai is that, in the French original, the two central scheming figures were members of the lesser French royalty who had boundless resources and time for the plotting of their romantic schemes. Making these two schemers become Chinese business titans with seemingly endless time for their skullduggery just doesn't ring true; it isn't that 20th century businesspeople didn't have affairs, but they seldom had so much free time.

One final problem is what appears to be the major concession made to get this film's tawdry subject matter past contemporary censors. Sprinkled throughout the film are demonstrators spouting messages which, surprise, surprise, are perfectly attuned to those the current regime wants to spread.

But don't let my quibbles deter you from watching this film. It is sumptuously mounted, well-acted, and tells a powerful story.
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