The incredibly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey opened in cinemas on February 13th and has had mixed reviews. It is based on the popular novel by E.L. James, which sold over 27 million copies in the UK. Curious as to what the fuss was about, I decided to venture into the world of brilliantly erotic sex, by watching the film myself.
For those who have not seen the film or read the books, which seem to be most people I know (yet they have no trouble voicing an opinion about it) below is a quick summary of the plot.
When Anastasia Steele, a literature student, goes to interview the wealthy Christian Grey as a favour to her roommate Kate, she ends up fascinated by the strikingly handsome and intimidating man. The naive Anastasia gradually realises she wants him. Despite his mysterious reserve and advice to stay away from him, she discovers that she is desperate to get close to him. Not able to resist her either, Christian Grey admits he wants her too… But on his own terms. Anastasia is hesitant as she learns the singular tastes of Christian Grey. Regardless of his success; his expanding businesses; his immense wealth; and his loving family, he is overtaken by the necessity to control everything.
Okay, don’t get me wrong the storyline is lacking realism and plausibility. However, these things are not the be all and end all of a film (really). For example, you could go watch this film for the sole purpose of watching Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) slowly take his shirt off as he gazes intently into the camera, approximately thirty million times (not complaining).
Talking technical, you could argue that credit should go to director Sam Taylor-Johnson and her screenwriter, Kelly Marcel, who’ve removed the first book of its major blemishes, while still maintaining its essence. The cringiest and most unnecessary parts of the book have been removed from the film, allowing the film to focus of the relationship between the two main characters and Christian’s problems with control. This was a good choice as although the film was predominantly expected to be about sex, the heart wrenchingly emotional ending almost made me shed tears (kind of).
Taylor-Johnson’s previous work Nowhere Boy (2009) focuses on the early life of John Lennon and Love You More (2008) is about two teens who are drawn together by a Buzzcocks’ song of the same name. Both of these films are a giant leap away from the erotic and emotional Fifty Shades of Grey. This makes you wonder what made her battle Angelina Jolie for the directing role.
Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) has said she is game for the sequel Fifty Shades Darker, however most unfortunately Jamie Dornan has declined the role for the sake of his wife. This, although it is upsetting, is actually really sweet. Everyone say aw!
Despite all the negativity felt towards this film, Fifty Shades of Grey had the biggest ever debut for an 18-certificate movie and the biggest for a film that isn’t a sequel or part of a franchise. The film is also one of the major grossing movies directed by a woman. So for all you feminists out there hating on this film, please just think of that.
There are many cons to this film such as the jarring use of original dialogue from the book, particularly lines like “I don’t make love, I f***k hard”. This honestly made me die a little inside. However, if you are looking for a giggle with friends in the cinema then this film is perfect. Just make sure they are friends you are fairly close with for obvious reasons.