Fifty Shades of Grey (film)

Picture Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Picture Courtesy of Universal Pictures


The long awaited movie event of the year has come and gone and the fires seem to have died down.  A week after debuting, I was lucky enough to make it to the film to a relatively sparse auditorium to allow for better viewing.

Fifty Shades of Grey is based on the novel of the same name written by E.L. James.  The novels were written as fan fiction based on the widely popular Twilight series.  Although the obvious connections can be made between the characters, James puts a rather different twist on the characters with the introduction of BDSM.  What more could you ask for than kinky sex and vampires?  Of course, the Fifty Shades series includes humans and not the vampire kin.  The erotic novels were an instant success globally, but with all success comes backlash.  The most notable remarks categorizing the novels as porn for mommies as the target audience and majority of readers were older women.  This is a rather general statement as its obvious that both men and woman of all ages had read the novels.  Many for curiosity and using the easy cover that they were simply reading it to find out what all the hype was.  It’s okay… I’ll keep your secret.  The second most notable remarks regarding the novels were towards the grammar and prose within the series.  Interesting… I also look for poetic verses and deep meaningful writing within my porn.

The casting buzz for the film was something talked about for months prior to final casting.  Fifty Shades was no different when it comes to any book turned film, you cannot please everyone.  Everyone pictures things differently when reading, and when someone is cast into a role that appears nothing like you envisioned it does create a bit of a sour taste towards the excitement of seeing the film.  Let us also not forget the the infamous casting and dropping of Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey.  Something that almost seemed more like a team effort to promote the film and give recognition to the actor known for his role in Sons of Anarchy (otherwise unknown).  Instead, and much to the benefit of the film, we were left with a relatively unknown man named Jamie Dornan, or perhaps not so unknown as we may have thought?  Dornan has been floating around for some time now and it wasn’t until after the film that I found the connection that he was in the Marie Antoinette movie starring Kirsten Dunst, among other things.

Starring opposite Dornan we have Dakota Johnson, our famous Anastasia Steele, perhaps also not so unknown?  -(UPDATE- An oversight on my part. The actress is actually the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Although I’m aware of the importance of their names, I can’t say I can remember every watching either of them. )The actress has appeared in a string of popular films such as The Social Network, Beastly, 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement, The Office (tv show), and the remake of Need for Speed.  A lot of big names were tossed around when it came for initial casting, but just as the series that inspired the books, their films also cast relatively off the scene actors and actresses and sky rocketed their careers.  I believe the Fifty Shades films will do just that for their actors and actresses.

Now that we have covered a few basics, lets get into the film a bit more.  The well known idea that the film contains BDSM is no surprise, but the extent of how much would be shown was on everyones mind.  Instant reviews of the early viewers were outraged at the lack of sexual scenes in the film.  The film is 1 hour and 50 minutes long, and after cramming and skimming the events of the book to make it viewer friendly, I can honestly say I remember more breasts than anything.  This severely contrasts the original reviews noting the lack of sex or short scenes.  I suggest watching porn at home if you were expecting hardcore sexual intercourse, not a public theatre.

Dakota Johnson, despite any reservations, makes a convincing Anastasia Steele.  She seeps innocence in her appearance and portrayal.  I read the books back to back and do not remember where one starts and the other ends.  I also do not recall all the exact sequence of events, but being a fan of makeovers, I was hoping that at some point in the film we could finally cut her hair.  I’d say that it pretty good for being the only negative for her.

Our Fifty Shades of fucked up would not be complete without Jamie Dornan.  It is hard not to get lost in his stormy blue eyes.  The emotion and range given with each look made every woman, and some men, catch their breathe.  With his perfectly tousled hair and physic, by the end of the film we were left biting our lip and eager to please his twitching palm.  Because that was what the film and books were about… consensual sexual pleasure between two consenting adults.  For many of us we know how the events in the novels play out.  The film leaves us with Anastasia, intrigued and confused by this strange world that Christian Grey has opened up to her.  The thought that pain and pleasure could go together is frightening for her, because we are taught so many convoluted and conflicting things that it would be surprising if she wasn’t emotional and confused.  Throughout the film, our timid mouse Anastasia takes the lead and stays true to herself and her boundaries.  This also conflicts with the casual way people have been throwing around the notion that the film promotes domestic violence and abuse.  This is an example of how people twist things to support their opinions and ideals by piggybacking on the popularity of unrelated subjects; creating battle board forums which are ultimately useless.  I would be interested in seeing this illusive movie for comparison.  I will have to talk to the staff at the theatre and ask why I was not given my pair of tainted lenses to see things in such a negatively skewed way.

Fifty Shades of Grey delivered just what it was intended to.  An escape into a strange and intriguing world based on fan fiction and sex.  One does not visit Walmart expecting to find vintage couture, and yet that is how many people have reacted.  It was not made to be the greatest film of all time, and I enjoyed the ride while it lasted and will be eager to see the next films in the series.

I hope you enjoyed this review… I aim to please.


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