The best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey recently made its long-awaited debut on the silver screen and, as a fan of the book series, I was very curious to see how this film could possibly be tame enough for movie theaters. What could have been one of the most iconic movies of the year turned out to be a total snoozefest. Literally. People in my theater were sleeping so hard they were snoring.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a film about a man incapable of love that falls for a hopeless romantic. What makes this average love story different from others is that he also likes to dominate his female partners in his “Red Room of Pain.” Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is a successful, attractive businessman that really enjoys the color grey. He has a grey office, grey ties, grey cars, etc. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a shy college student that earns the opportunity to interview the hottest billionaire in Seattle, Mr. Grey. After administering a truly crappy interview, she finds herself to be attracted to Christian, just as he finds himself to be infatuated with Ana. He instantly becomes disgustingly obsessed with her and takes time out of his busy schedule to make sure he knows her every move. There’s a mysterious aura about Christian, but Ana just can’t seem to figure out his big secret, even after he shows up at her hardware store job to buy cable ties, rope, and masking tape. Shortly after that uncomfortable encounter, he tells her “I don’t make love. I fuck. Hard.” Everything sort of went downhill after that.
I don’t understand how a film about a BDSM relationship could be so quiet and lackluster. There wasn’t very much dialogue between Ana and Christian, and that really didn’t do much to make their love for each other believable. There was so much awkward energy between the two that it just became too much to handle. In the book, which is told in first person by Ana, many of her internal emotions are discussed, but this isn’t really shown in the film. The film made it look like she really didn’t enjoy being dominated, and at some points, it seemed like she was being sexually abused. It’s been a while since I’ve read the novel, but from what I remember, she was actually enjoying the submissive lifestyle; she was just scared that she liked it too much. Something went terribly wrong when the information from the book was translated into a film script.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect much from this film. The book was pure smut, so I was prepared for a silly mess of a movie that it wasn’t. With lots of good one-liners, a wicked soundtrack, and an amazing slow-motion flogging scene, it was far from the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Actually, I’m kind of looking forward to the sequels.