Totally went for the “husband brownie points” and took the wife to see the infamous 50 Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day. Verdict…meh, it’s not that bad.
(please visit my blog to read this and other things: PhoenixWave)
Who would’ve guessed that a story that was originally written as fan-fiction for the awful Twilight series, would turn into such a best seller much less a decently presented movie?! Trust me, I’m as baffled as you are.
Let’s watch the trailer before going any further…
Yeah, even watching that I’m still stunned that I walked away complimenting the film more than I bashed it.
Ok, so this is going to be a review with what some might consider spoilers but to be honest, if you don’t already know the premise behind this movie then you should really crawl out from under that rock. I doubt that I’ll be ruining anything for anyone who may or may not see this film – so here goes.
So this is my point if you want to take anything from this review – you know what you’re getting into with this movie before you ever sit down to see it – so you shouldn’t be too judgmental about it. If you’re someone that’s offended by sex scenes – then don’t see it or comment on it because it’s obviously not for you. If you’re looking for something that is going to be 2015’s best picture then you have my pity for just being that dumb. It is what it is people – move on.
50 Shades of Grey plays itself out as if it’s just a typical romance film with the typical dark brooding male character seeking attention and affection from the typical “girl next door” female lead. Where this stereotypical story starts to blur is when the audience is made aware that the male lead is “50 shades of f*cked up”. (yeah – my favorite forced line direct from the movie – had to use it somewhere) Though if you’re like me and not living under the aforementioned rock from earlier, then you already know going in that the dude is far from normal. But what is normal now a days – can people not have their own particular vices behind closed doors? (I digress – that’s a whole other topic of discussion)
I have to say that from start to finish I was impressed with most of the acting talent on screen. I will say that going into the movie, I was siding with the wife and her frustration on who they cast for Anastasia because she just didn’t seem pretty enough. Yet, once you get into setting and who she is, it seems that Dakota Johnson is actually fit for the part. I will still contest that they really downplayed her attractiveness a little too much in order to sell her as the “innocent girl” but that’s just me nit picking as I normally do. She should also get a lot of props for being naked for practically half of the film while no one else was ever fully naked for more than a minute. That’s a lot of pressure to rest solely on her shoulders to deliver on the sexual content many might be expecting from this movie. For the role of Christian Grey, the dude knocks it out of the park. Granted I’ve not read the book – but if they were going for a young sophisticated yet secretive male persona then I think he was quite the casting choice. He probably worked weeks on just perfecting his “stare”. Aside from the two leads, the rest of the supporting cast is just that – supportive. In no way does anyone ever stand out and I’m pretty sure they aren’t meant to. Let’s face it – no one going to see this movie is looking to get any background on Mr. Grey’s driver.
But let’s turn the corner for a second and talk about where I feel the movie failed. If you are like me and know nothing about this film other than what the trailer suggests then I felt as if I was left with nothing at the end. I walked out with more questions than anything. As an audience we never get any attention to detail about the ins and outs of what makes up Christian Grey. Sure we know that he’s a “Dominant” and a bit of a “Control Freak” but aside from that who is he? Why is he so successful? What does he do or rather, what did he do before he met Anastasia – because once he meets her, it seems that his world revolves around her 24/7. I’m told that you get more about him as the books progress but that seems like an easy scapegoat. We know that he was a “submissive” for his mom’s friend since he was 16 … or maybe it was 14 … but that still doesn’t tell us much. All they do is hint at a few little points in his otherwise unknown past and we’re expected to just jump on board? On top of all of that – why is he so damn contradicting in his actions?! (I’m starting to sound like a woman in my head …) The dude doesn’t like to be touched but he’ll grab her hand, hold her, touch her face all he wants. Ummmm last time I checked, if you’re touching someone then they’re technically touching you! I’m still trying to figure that one out. Anyways, for a movie that has a run time roughly over 2 hours – I feel that we could’ve had less sexual encounters and more character building. (wait – did I just say that?) But sadly I doubt that is what the mass female audience is worried about.
Where the movie really falls flat though is the in the script. I understand that they are trying to put in lines from the book – but when I’ve read numerous complaints about the way the book is written, is it necessarily a good idea to put that in the movie? I chuckled at the “I’m 50 shades of f*cked up…” but not because it was funny, but because it was such a forced and absurd line. It could’ve been ignored but they kept doing it over and over again with some really poorly placed words and sentences that otherwise useless. You can almost see it in their faces as the actors utter what they’ve been asked to say as if they know better but want to make sure they collect on their absurd salaries.
Sum it up:
With all joking aside I came out of the theater this past Saturday smiling more so than I thought I would and it wasn’t due to all the boobies. The plot is thin and the character development is even thinner but what shines is a cast’s devotion to their craft and the ability to pull out some raw emotion through their talent. Some people might be turned off at the thought that it’s all about the sex/bondage stuff but it’s really not the focal point of the film. And again you should already know that content is in the movie and if you’re offended or don’t want to see it then don’t. Now will I run out and buy the BluRay when it’s released? No. But I will probably be a little more willing to see the next one just not in a theater in front of a lady who was probably someone’s 70 year old grandma. Awkward!