As war looms in Shanghai, glamorous libertine Mo Jieyu (Cecilia Cheung) runs into playboy Xie Yifan (Jang Don-kun), 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. —Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
Heo Jin-ho (also known as Hur Jin-ho) is a South Korean film director and screenwriter born on August 8, 1963. He is a graduate of Yonsei University with a degree in philosophy and has also studied filmmaking at the Korean Academy of Film Arts. He has specialized in directing romance films, with all five of his feature films Christmas in August, One Fine Spring Day, April Snow, Happiness and A Good Rain Knows being examples of the genre. —Wikipedia
Hur Jin-ho has crafted an ornate and meticulous portrait of 1930's Shanghai but fails in translating the de Laclos tome in an unique or meaningful way. Much like Forman's 'Valmont' it fails in comparison to the adaptation by Hampton memorably filmed by Stephen Frears. Performances by Chung and Jang are quite good but Zhang seems miscast here and would be more suited to playing Mo Jieyu. Craftsmenship is aces.
The latest adaptation of "Dangerous Liaisons" arrives with a Korean leading man and director, but is predominantly a Chinese production - which may explain why the film is so chaste. Given the source material, you might expect an erotic drama with plenty of bared flesh but the final product is more melodrama than anything else. Cecilia Cheung, still navigating her comeback after action duds like "Speed Angels," takes to her manipulative and sexually-charged role with relish; she ends up the highlight of the film. Unfortunately, the script's main focus is on Jang Don-kun's womanizing cad and Zhang Ziyi's reserved widow. While it's interesting to watch Ziyi play against type, she and her co-star fail to generate any real chemistry