"Fifty Shades Of Grey" is the classic love story, boy meets girl, boy seduces girl, boy makes girl sign a non-disclosure agreement, boy ties up girl and whips her for sexual pleasure.
The movie is directed by Sam Taylor Johnson, based on the worldwide best selling book. Dakota Johnson stars as Anastasia Steele (yes...that's her real name), a timid English student who interviews billionaire Christian Grey, only then to be thrust into a completely new world.
To those of who are unaware, "Fifty Shades Of Grey" began as Twilight fan fiction, and the similarities are more than clear in the film. Yes, this film is much more mature than "Twilight" with its subject matter, but the structure, characters and and themes are pretty much the same. Its painfully obvious how this is essentially "Twilight" but instead of Vampires and Werewolves, its BDSM.
After Anastasia and Christian's first meeting, the two become very fond of each other, Christian becoming stalkerish in his attempts to seduce her, similar to how Edward Cullen prowled around Bella in the "Twilight" films, except much, much creepier, if that were even possible. He tells her that his hobby's aren't for the faint of heart, he's a 'dominant', meaning that instead of a simple relationship, he wants Ana to sign a contract and become his 'submissive' so that he may do whatever he wants to her in his red room that consists of ropes, whips and countless other BDSM tools.
I'm just going to come out and say it....this movie is bad, are you surprised?
The problem with the film comes from its script, its laughable, and at first it seems as though the film knows how ridiculous it is and it has some fun, but quickly it becomes all too serious, and the faults become a lot more obvious.
Now...credits due where credits due, Dakota Johnson is good in the movie, she plays her part well, I would love to see her in a role this large in a good movie. Jamie Dornan's performance however was, for lack of a better word, a bit wooden. Much like Robert Pattinson in Twilight, his character is reduced to stares and cringe worthy dialogue. I have faith in Dornan as an actor, but he was rather terrible here.
The film has a pristine and elegant look to it and it was very appealing to watch, it thankfully distracted from the actual content within the scenes sometimes. Sam Taylor Johnson created a pleasant looking film, but failed tragically with the characters and story.
Johnson and Dornan's chemistry is almost non existent and the entire relationship feels contrived. The movie is filled to the brim with melodrama, no real tension or drama ever builds despite the filmmaker's best attempts.
Now you'd think, with this being a movie about women, for women made by a woman, we would have a strong, independent female character....but Anastasia Steele, much like Bella Swan, is incapable of coping without her strong and controlling love interest.
Now lets talk about the reason all of you flocked to the movie theater to see this over the weekend; the sex scenes. They're in there yes, but there only half as daring and racy as you were hoping for. The real problem with these scenes is that the female isn't in to it, at all. She allows herself to be tied down and played with because she just wants to please her man, that's how weak of a character she is. The film never bothers to delve into the psychology behind Christian's BDSM fascination, his back story is touched upon but we never learn what his previous experiences did to him as a person, this could have been a good character study.
Now and again we would see that Christian's BDSM goes further than the bedroom, he tries to control almost every aspect of Ana's life, and I found this interesting for a while, but the film doesn't delve into why he does it, so I eventually lost interest.
I must mention one standout scene from the entire film which surprised me a lot. Christian and Ana attend a 'business meeting' in which they discuss the terms of Christian's contract, this was a very strong scene filled with some laughs but also an insight into Christian's world. Other than that the film doesn't offer up any memorable moments.
It's sickening how this film was released on Valentines weekend as it does portray a one sided and frankly abusive relationship as a love story brought about by destiny. This has been marketed, quite excellently mind you, as a love story for a mature audience, "Romeo & Juliet" if Romeo were a sex fueled control freak.
"Fifty Shades Of Grey" is unintentionally hilarious, packed with melodrama and tediously boring.
I must applaud the film's ending though, it ends on an abrupt and quite dark note that I wasn't expecting whilst viewing the rest of the film.
And of course, this film crushed at the box office so we're getting two more of these, so buckle up (pun intended).