I will admit that from the start Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy didn’t grip me, like it seemed to with the majority of the female population.
The book it’s self was a hard read, cringe worthy in most parts and Christian Grey came across as a narcissistic controlling man, who couldn’t define himself from business and pleasure. He seemed some-what robotic, no sense of humor and had major stalking tendencies but I prevailed and read the first book.
In the past 2 weeks, there has been a lot of arguments over social media about Fifty Shades and people who like it, were supposedly supporting ‘abusive relationships’. Let’s get one thing straight, it is not OK’ing rape or abuse and definitely not a book about rape culture, it’s purely fiction, Fiction that started off as fan fiction, generated by the Twilight series.
Watching Fifty Shades Of Grey, I found similarities to Twilight. There is a man who likes control, there is a woman who is a virgin and lacks self confidence, there is a sister who seems to look at the girl with disapproving eyes, a mother who is happy to welcome the girl into her home and the man who pushes the girl away. And of course the sorrowing effect of Christian playing the piano……I wonder where that scene took it’s effect, from?
But then again, if you look back to Breaking Dawn, people claimed that Bella was being abused by Edward, she wasn’t and people took it out of context. Why spoil a sci-fi type film?
Anyway, back to the film in question.
Ana and Christian have a fair few cringe worthy moments in the book, the main one that stands out is the ‘tampon’.
“He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string — what?! — and gently takes my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy fuck”
I, for one am thankful that this didn’t make the cut in the film!
Ana and Christian have developed a sense of humor, which was clearly missing in the book. There isn’t any of that teen-type gawkiness from Ana, yes in the beginning, she does have that doe-eyed thing going on, where she is totally oblivious to anything of a sexual nature but that soon vanishes. In her original meeting with Mr. Grey, she doesn’t get what he is about, although it did make me chuckle when she asked “Are you gay?”…….The way she said this, it was with hast but seemed like she knew more than she was letting on.
I am grateful that the screen writers took away the pain-staking thoughts of Ana and her ramblings, it made watching this adaption a bit easier on the senses but I was left wanting ‘more’. Well, more of the darker side, rather than the ‘how they got there‘ part.
Christian’s controlling attitude came out blazing, there was no explanation but he went from a general phone call to a drunk Ana in a bar, to being instantly there and taking her home. I would have preferred to see this built up a little better or not be as-so intense.
The sound tack made watching Fifty Shades, a lot more bearable. There was great timing with the songs chosen, like Ellie Golding’s Love Me Like You Do, starts playing as Ana is swept away in Christian’s helicopter. Then Crazy In Love being revamped into a sultry smouldering track, during Ana’s first experience in the Red Room.
There has been a few comments made about Dakota and Dornan, not having a connection on screen but I can assure you, there are plenty of scorching moments between these two actors and nothing ‘lacking’ about it!
The D/S contract was drawn out over around 65% of the film’s content but it was worth it, both had comical entities. Ana showing her lack of understanding of certain things and Christian trying to negotiate the paragraphs that Ana had vito’d out. Sat across a boardroom table, both tossing back and forth the terms, it made me chuckle and remember certain personal experiences (Ana asking about butt plugs, a moment I remember well). Although, Christian, in the film, goes to a fair bit of effort to sway Ana’s mind. I didn’t see much of Christian ‘directing’ Ana, like he does in the book, in-fact, he is some-what understanding of Ana’s frailties and helps to open her eyes up.
One thing that took me back a step, was one scene, where he pretty much begs Ana, for her to be his.
And let’s not forget that infamous silk grey tie, it makes an appearance a few times! Ana seems to love this, she takes to being dominated, like a duck to water, there wasn’t any awkwardness to it, unless you account Ana’s lack of self-control of giggles but I feel this adds to the feel of the film, I am sure that we can all relate to those nerves at some point.
The Red-Room and sex scenes are smouldering, of course Dakota is fully naked a fair amount of times and she shows her confidence with ease. There are a couple of Christian arse shots, him in a towel or half naked. The Bondage scenes were tastefully done, he introduces her to spanking but there were no Ben-Wa balls to be seen, thank god! In the book, this was another cringe worthy moment and I don’t see how this could have been made ‘sexy’ for viewers.
Big thumbs up, for the director Sam Taylor-Johnson. The way the Red-Room scenes were shot, were very tasteful, sensual and wanting. Generally the sexy-time scenes were something reminiscent of films such as Indecent Proposal and 9 1/2 weeks.
In-fact, the screen writer Kelly Marcel, had to remove most of the more ‘porn type’ exploits, so that the film would comply with, well being a film and not a porno. Thank god for Kelly’s input, no inner-Ana monologues, no inner goddess bullshit and the lack of ‘Holy Craps’, to a more polite and innocent Ana.
The most memorable scene has to be near the end, when Ana tells Christian to show her how bad this D/S lark can get. The pain ripping through Ana’s voice, as she counts each strike of the Leather belt. It wasn’t a pain of the lashings, Dakota seemed to get the feelings across that she knew she couldn’t do this any longer, it was heart breaking to watch.
Ana’s last words in the film were ‘Christian NO’ and he stops, adheres to her command as she walks and turns to face him from the lift.
The ending made me think ‘WTF’, it finishes abruptly, no whaling Ana, no ‘what if’s’, it just ends!
No matter what you think about the book, I would suggest you watch the film. The Director and Screen writer had managed to make a hit novel series, that ripped opinions down the middle like an earthquake and adapt it to a rather watchable film.
One thing is for sure, this film and it’s lead up has jolted conversations of the sexual nature, it’s even boasted sex toy sales, world wide. It has even advocated the E.L James Official Sex Toy Collection with Lovehoney. So, is Fifty Shades Of Grey a bad film? In my opinion, no, it’s not a bad film at all but it’s not an Oscar award winning film either. It’s a decent film and for me, that is about it.
I won’t be reading the rest of the series. If Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, become screen adaptions, I will be paying my cinema a visit.
I do hope that the way this film has tastefully been adapted, works wonders on the next two films……….if they get to that point.