Title: Dangerous Beauty
Released: 20th February 1998
Director: Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating: **** (4/5 stars)
About: Veronica (Catherine McCormack) is brilliant, gifted and beautiful, but the handsome aristocrat she loves, Marco Venier (Rufus Sewell), cannot marry her because she is penniless and of a questionable family. So Veronica’s mother, Paola (Jacqueline Bisset), teaches her to become a courtesan, one of the exotic companions favored by the richest and most powerful Venetian men. Veronica courageously uses her charms to change destiny — and to give herself a chance at true love.
Review: Ok, so yes this is a bit of an oldie, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not good. I only really became aware of this film because it was suggested on Netflix – for once that site knew exactly what I was in the mood to watch.
Anyway, even after the trailer and reading the synopsis for it, I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this film.
I knew that I would like from the point that I have a slight crush on the young Rufus Sewell so of course, I’m going to be bias in that sense.
But to be fair, right from the beginning it had me hooked.
I loved the setting of Venice at the beginning, so beautiful —- and then you had the costumes. At first, they are simple, but once Veronica becomes a courtesan, the dresses change and become even more memorable.
Don’t be fooled as well into thinking that courtesans are just prostitutes – yes there are boobs in this film – but deal with it.
From the very beginning you are rooting for a happy ending and for a time it feels like this might not be the case. It’s heartbreaking to watch (but not so much that you’ll be crying in your seat).
The script used in this film is great – but during the ‘clever moments’ when Veronica is using her wit to show off, I did have pay attention. It’s not a massive issue because when I was actually listening to what she was saying, I was very impressed.
It brings a new view of courtesans – which seems a bit of strange thing to say. But it shows the elegance of these women and how much training and thought went into their lives. I’m not sure if the film kind of romanticises the job that they have (because in the end they are still sleeping with men). But it certainly shows Veronica as being highly intelligent and to be honest, having a fun time at her job as well (mainly when she’s just having fun at the parties though).
I really did enjoy this film because it was something different and yet it was still about unattainable love.
Watch it, and enjoy the thrill of Veronica’s life (and in some cases gut wrenching horrors).