So the reviews are coming in on the movie adaption of E. L. James' 'Fifty Shades of Grey', and so far, they've been terrible. Poor acting, poor script, forced chemistry; I've heard it all. As a reader of all three books of the series, I was beginning to worry. This book began for me as a way to connect even more sensually with my wife, and now we are both finally watching what we have only ever been able to imagine for so long. Is it really going to be that bad? Is it really so corny in the book (which I have admitted to several times. It IS corny. It's supposed to be) that the movie adaption just couldn't make it work?
Short answer? Not even a little bit.
The movie begins exactly as the book tells it. The movie's twists and turns happen exactly as the book tells it. The ending, which will kill any movie-goer, happens exactly as it did in the book. For a society of people who constantly complain that the movie left too much out from the book, there seems to be a lot of hate for one of the few movies that didn't deviate.
The acting wasn't Oscar-worthy, but then it didn't need to be. What people have apparently forgot is that this is a romantic novel made into a movie. In the end, it doesn't need to have incredible acting. What it needs, is exactly what the book needed: Intense moments that bring you into the mindset of the protagonist to allow you to fully enjoy the sexual scenes that take place throughout the story. The book, for me, despite the lack of proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc., did just that. The movie succeeded as well. The acting was great for the script they were given, and I'll even say that a 'lip-biting' scene close to the beginning of the film was even enough for me to go 'Okay it worked in the book but seeing it happen... wow that was forced.'
And that brings me to the script. I'll say it again, 'This is a romantic novel made into a film.' That being said, I take it for exactly what it is. Corny, overly romantic, never a believable situation. The actors undoubtedly played hell trying to make some of the scenes work, but they did succeed in doing so. There are bits of the script that I had to just accept for what they were, but most of the time, I sat, hands clammy from being clenched, anticipating the next scene, or bent over laughing as the female protagonist reacts to the world of change she has been introduced to. The scenes that are meant to be funny, are absolutely hilarious. The scenes that are supposed to be intense are incredibly so. The scenes that are supposed to be sexual, are very very sexual. The script is hard to transition to film, but it actually works!
The sexual scenes brings me to the actor's chemistry. This movie is almost solely dependent on the actor's ability to make the connection believable, and whereas I may be alone in this, I firmly believe they did a fantastic job. People are saying that Anna, played by Dakota Johnson, was too awkward, and that Mr. Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, was so creepy he seemed to be a borderline serial killer. What people fail to realize is that this is exactly how the characters are supposed to be. The actors who portrayed each of the protagonists did a fantastic job at selling that fact. Their micro-expressions gave an insight to their thought process during the scenes of the film. Their dialogue, although had just a few moments of feeling forced, put the emotion and intensity into play. All in all, the chemistry worked!
This film has a very wide audience to try and impress. The fact of the matter is that despite trying very hard to tone down the sex to allow those who did not read the books or are not interested entirely in the sexual side of the story to enjoy it, this soon-to-be trilogy is best suited for those who have either read the books, or are open-minded enough to allow the film time to process.
If you're not interested in seeing some borderline soft-core porn in a movie theater full of people, don't go see this movie. If, however, you can get into the mindset for the film, or accept some of the flaws to see the movie as a whole, then this movie is absolutely worth going to see. It succeeds fully in creating the atmosphere and intensity of the book. I, along with my wife, and I'm sure thousands of other avid readers of the series, am greatly looking forward to next Valentines' Day, when I'm sure the next movie of the trilogy will be released.
So what did you think? Have you seen the movie? Did you like it? Feel it was a little too much? Please let me know in the comments down below!