ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

In anticipation of the next [Fifty Shades of Grey](movie:391697) trailer coming our way tomorrow, Focus Features has released a poster featuring Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele.

Book fans who have been anxiously anticipating the film adaptation may remember the first poster released way back in January, which features a fully clothed Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. Many were surprised at the lack of—ahem—skin, considering the source material, but it highlighted the Seattle setting with an appropriately gray color palette.

The new poster harkens back to the first, but does it miss the mark?

Focus Features
Focus Features

While it certainly shows the skin that fans were expecting, this poster has me feeling a bit confused.

At this point, almost everyone on the planet knows the basic story of 50 Shades of Grey (for those who don't: boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy introduces girl to bastardized world of BDSM, and repressed suburban mothers everywhere have something to read on their new Kindles), so why the attempt at mystery? Why obscure the faces of Johnson and Dornan, the soon-to-be stars of a likely franchise?

Even Anastasia is confused.
Even Anastasia is confused.

The idea works better for Christian Grey, a character who gains his allure from a world of mystery and potential danger. The new poster seems to show Anastasia reacting to this world, a connection made clear by the same tagline ("Mr. Grey Will See You Now") being used in both images. Yet, Anastasia's reaction here is just boring and, dare I say it, pretty unreadable. She might be nervous. She might be excited. Or, she might just be itchy.

Maybe it's just a good tease, particularly because Anastasia is such an ambiguous character in the beginning, but I can't help feeling like the promotion so far is way too tepid for a story that promises so much fire. Most of us (especially fans) have seen the trailer, which is steamier than any of the stills. Based on what we have seen so far, I have to wonder if the movie is going to deliver on its implicit promise. Will 'Grey' really enlighten us or just leave us in the dark?

Am I being way too harsh here? What do you think of the 50 Shades poster?


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