Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Based on a French novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, first published in 1782, it is the story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two narcissistic rivals (and ex-lovers) who use seduction as a weapon to socially control and exploit others.
Valmont is determined to seduce the virtuous, married, and therefore inaccessible Madame de Tourvel. At the same time, Merteuil is determined to corrupt the young Cécile de Volanges, whose mother has brought her out of a convent to be married.
However, Cécile falls in love with the Chevalier Danceny. Merteuil and Valmont pretend to help the lovers in order to gain their trust and manipulate them to benefit their own schemes.
It has been seen as depicting the corruption and depravity of the French nobility shortly before the French Revolution. It has also been described as merely a story about two amoral people.
“When one woman strikes at the heart of another she seldom misses, and the wound is invariably fatal.”
Marquise de Merteuil