It is my intention to compare the book, Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos, to its modern movie version, Cruel Intentions starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. I intend to examine how the original French text was modified in reference to plot, character, morals/values, and themes. I also plan to discuss how these transformations change the meaning of the story and reflect different cultural/historical contexts. There are some major differences between these two works, if only because of when they were written.
First, the plots of both works need to be discussed and explained how they are different. The stories of both works have basically the same structure, until it gets toward the endings. In Dangerous Liaisons, the Vicomte de Valmont dies in a sword battle between him and Danceny. Right before he dies, though, he gives Danceny all of his letters between him and the Marquise de Merteuil and tells him to circulate them in order to ruin Merteuil’s reputation. Danceny does this and then moves away for a while. Merteuil ends up becoming disfigured from small pox and her reputation crumbles. She moves to Holland because of this. Cecile moves back into the convent and Madame de Tourvel dies of misery because of the suffering that Valmont put her through.
Because Cruel Intentions is such a modernized version of this story, the ending is a lot different. Sebastian (Valmont) dies by being hit by a car because he pushed Annette (Tourvel) out of the way in order to save her life. Obviously, this is a much more modern way of dying in a movie than dying in a sword fight. Also, it shows the Valmont character as being more heroic, which in Dangerous Liaisons, he was not quite so heroic. In the movie, it does not really say what happens to Ronald (Danceny). He fights with Sebastian, and that is the last we see of him. Catherine (Merteuil), like in the book, also has her reputation ruined, but she gets humiliated in a more dramatic way (in front of the student body and faculty). Also, there is the issue of drugs. Her addiction to cocaine is revealed. The use of drugs is a common issue in today’s modern movies, and that is one of the reasons Cruel Intentions is different in terms of its cultural context. Cecile and Annette (Tourvel) worked together to produce copies of Sebast...
... middle of paper ...
...haracters’ clothing is not discussed in the book, so I cannot really apply this theme to it.
Lastly, I would like to discuss the issue of Libertinism. Libertinism was a movement that started in the eighteenth century; about the time Dangerous Liaisons was written. It was a movement of questioning religion and God and of scandalous affairs. The people of this movement no longer thought the world is controlled by God, but by your own actions. The characters of Valmont and Merteuil were prominent Libertines. The book is definitely an example of this movement. It completely represents the values that come from Libertinism.
In conclusion, both of these pieces of work were written in their cultural and historical context. I attempted to compare the two in reference to plot, character, morals/values, and themes and explain them in their cultural and historical context. Dangerous Liaisons was considered to be a condemned piece of literature and Cruel Intentions emphasized this immorality as a modernized version of the story.
Cruel Intentions. Kumble, Roger. Columbia Pictures, 1998.
Laclos, Choderlos de. Dangerous Liaisons. London: Penguin Classics, 1961.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Reception Theory and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) Of all the literary critical theories yet discussed, I find reception theory by far the most intelligent and rewarding. After all, where does literature become literature, where does it "happen" so to speak, if not in the mind of the reader. Without the reader, literature is inky blobs on paper. This correlates to Berkeley's solipsistic analogy of a tree falling in the woods. Without a listener does it make a sound. Well, technically, it emanates vibrations, but only an ear will interpret those vibrations as sound.... [tags: Liaisons Dangereuses Dangerous Liaisons]
771 words (2.2 pages)
- Dangerous Games of Love in the Films Cruel Intentions versus Dangerous Liaisons Would you like to play a game. This game involves passion, deceit, lies, and love. I viewed two movies that share the same painful theme; Cruel Intentions and Dangerous Liaisons. They both bring to life a set of characters that play with emotions like they are nothing but a mere child's game. I chose to introduce you to the infamous Viconte Valmont and the spoiled Sebastian Valmont. Not only are their names similar, but so were their motives.... [tags: Papers]
955 words (2.7 pages)
- Dangerous Liaisons: Present and Past Halfway through viewing Dangerous Liaisons, a remarkable contrast as well as a huge parallel came to mind. The film's principal characters' treatment of their promiscuity was quite different from what we see today. They were quite covert about their sexual relations, and often concocted cunning plans to assure the secrecy of their activities. Today we find quite the opposite taking place on our news programs and talk shows. It seems to me that the cause of this whole difference in treatment of sexuality is due to the advent of mass media. That pre-Revolutionary French society was not completely different from today, however. Like o... [tags: Dangerous Liaisons Essays]
1941 words (5.5 pages)
- Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a complex and disturbing portrayal of the noble class in pre-revolutionary France. Set in the late eighteenth century during the latter part of the Ancien Regime, Les Liaisons weaves a web of cold, calculated betrayal of the most immoral kind. The story unfolds in the form of letters written between the principal characters, giving it a unique literary texture. By using this style, de Laclos is able to give the reader a shockingly intimate look at these people as they divulge their most intimate secrets and bring to fruition their sinister plans.... [tags: essays research papers]
736 words (2.1 pages)
- 2. PROPOSED WORK 2.1 Liaisons with the Broader Scientific Community In addition to mission science objectives and measurement requirements, the development of a comprehensive calibration and validation plan, including detailed test procedures, and an executable algorithm plays a critically important role to assure mission success. Successful implementation of these pre-launch activities requires close interaction among the project management, science community, and instrument vendors. Furthermore, post-launch satellite inter-comparisons are facilitated by active participation in international calibration and characterization organizations.... [tags: Research Analysis]
1645 words (4.7 pages)
- In a time when films were famous for presenting the importance of family life, the film ‘This Boy’s Life’ illustrates the significance of freedom with the help of a troubled boy’s coming-of-age story. The movie ‘This Boy’s Life’, which is based on the real life of American author Tobias Wolff, features renowned actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin in the leading roles while actors Jonah Blechman, Eliza Dushku, Chris Cooper, Carla Gugino, Zack Ansley, Tracey Ellis, Kathy Kinney, Tobey Maguire, Sean Murray, Lee Wilkof, Bill Dow, Deanna Milligan and Morgan Brayton play the other minor roles.... [tags: Movie, abuse, family]
583 words (1.7 pages)
- I can't remember ever seeing a film with more moral problems and issues than Roger Kumbles Cruel Intentions. Although the film is intended to be a dark comedy and a teenage version of Dangerous Liaisons, Cruel Intentions is a mature and often shocking look at a potential realistic situation played up as a fantasy tale that offers a sickening example of the moral decay present in our society. Morals seem to change from generation to generation, and as time goes on it seems that at one time what was disgusting and immoral in our society is now second nature and pure entertainment for today's generation.... [tags: Film]
868 words (2.5 pages)
- Cruel Intentions The film 'cruel Intentions', directed by John Hughes is a fast paced glimpse into the lives of the young new Yorkers whose entire existence revolves around power, sex and to some extent class A drugs. Hughes direction for the movie concentrates on those who prey on innocence and will stop at nothing to achieve their ambitions. The story focuses on Sebastian whose main intention in life is to sleep with and ruin the reputations of girls whom he labels "Manhattans insipid debutants".... [tags: Papers]
662 words (1.9 pages)
- The film “Cruel Intentions,” directed by John Hughes, is a fast-paced glimpse into the lives of New York yuppies whose entire existence revolves around money, power, sex, and drugs. Hughes’ direction for the movie concentrates on those who prey on innocence and will stop at nothing to achieve their ambitions. The story centers on Sebestian, played by Ryan Phillipe, whose main intention in life is to sleep with, and ruin the reputations of, girls whom he labels “Manhattan’s insipid debutantes.” Using his good looks, charm and vast wealth, he manipulates the naïve ladies found in his elite private school, Manchester Prep, as easily as a ten year-old boy manipulates Tetris pieces on his Game B... [tags: essays research papers]
531 words (1.5 pages)
- The film Cruel Intentions is a narration based on a bet between two step-siblings exploring society’s sexual boundaries. We are first introduced to Sebastian, a fifth year high school Senior with no respect for anyone/ thing except his own reputation of sexual conquest. His stepsister Kathryn is, well, as she puts it “I'm the Marsha fucking Brady of the Upper East Side”. A quick summary, Sebastian wants to have sex with Annette, the new head master’s daughter who wrote a manifesto on why she intends to wait until marriage.... [tags: essays research papers]
929 words (2.7 pages)