A full immersion into the world of libertinism. I don't know whether to worry or not: I went on and on with my sudden - recent but intense - interest in libertines.
Yesterday morning I woke up as early as 7 but I didn't feel like getting up so soon, since it was Sunday. So I remembered I had just got VALMONT DVD (1989) from my " fairy Merryweather", who had suggested me to watch it after she heard I had appreciated Lord Damerel (G. Heyer, VENETIA) and am appreciating what Richard Armitage is doing with his Lovelace (Richardson, CLARISSA, BBC4 radiodrama ). And there I was. 7 o'clock in the morning: coffee, laptop ... in bed with the first libertine of the day: Vicomte Colin Valmont.
A very young ( and incredibly gorgeous ) Colin Firth, performs as the Vicomte in 1989 Milos Forman's film version of Les Liaisons dangereuses, the French epistolary novel by P. C. de Laclos .
The 1782 four -volume novel is the story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals (ex lovers) who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade others, all the while enjoying their cruel games. Milos Forman's made it a comedy cleaning it from the tragic and cruel details.He created a charming portrayal of the French society at the end of the 18th century with wonderful costumes and locations but brought the human comedy of loving, seducing, betraying, competing, winning and losing beyond time and context.
Colin Firth's Valmont is smart, disenchanted, joking, handsome and charming, daring and cheeky, amoral but smiling and tender. What he lacks is the devilish perversity, the tragic calculation and cruelty of the other
Valmonts. Forman's protagonist plays the libertine as a joyous game of extreme freedom and his seductive schemes are often depicted as comic. Even his final death in a duel becomes comedy.
I simply found it delightful and loved watching this movie though I noticed some little flaws and a "hole" in the script: why does Valmont accept to seduce 15-year-old Cecile when he refused at first? (the book explains)
Anyhow, Frears's Dangerous Liaisons is astonishingly beautiful! John Malkovich 's Valmont is cold and fiendish , and the decadence, the tragicality, the perversity of the original text are all there to an extremity. Like in the book, the fragile victims are sacrificed and suffer much: in this movie , young Cecile (Uma Turman) gets pregnant and suffers a miscarriage, she doesn't end in marriage to an important man and in the Royal Chapel like in Forman's movie; madame De Turvel (Michelle Pfeiffer) suffers Valmont's violent rejection and consumes herself to death, she isn't forgiven and helped by her old husband like in Forman's film; the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont are trecherous, perfidious, cold, greedy, devilish. There is no joy in their being out of any rule and completely free to break them. The whole film is rather dark and tragic, in fact. But it is definitely a great costume movie. An excellent one.