Let me start this review be saying that I never read the book Fifty Shades of Grey but I did enjoy the film. (Now wait hear me out.) It is not some Oscar winning drama or romance movie. I laughed, not at the ridiculous dialog or the paper thin story, but where they actual placing real jokes and intriguing characters.
See, I go to the theater to see a movie and have a good time. Many who see the movie go with an already preconceived notion of what kind of pleasure and satisfaction come from a relationship that no other forms must exist. It is also true that many try to equate their broken relationship, to this fantasy of a relationship, even when no real connections exist. It helped that I went with my wife and laughed and enjoyed the experience together.
Before the movie, I was waiting in line with my wife, and I was surrounded by 40-year old teenage girls giggling and screaming. Some of which had had too much to drink. Estrogen filled the air as I stood as one of the few men in line. It seems most women went with their girlfriends and even some woman came claiming they could not convince their man to come to see the movie. Most of the women in that theater knew what they were getting into and were not damaged by the dark imagery and broken relationship of Christian and Anastasia.
The story of Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson) intrigued me because I believe it shows the line between BDSM and an abusive relationship. I think it starts an important dialog about the distinction between the two. Christian is a tragic character and the many layers of his persona fascinate me.
Without giving up to much “personal” info I am the dominant in my sexual relationship and there is fun that can be had. But you have to have the conversation. How much is two much? Where is the line? If you come into that knowing beforehand it is usually fine. Christian Grey’s character is a gentleman seeking permission at each step. But he is human and is impatient. Anastasia reluctant accepts being part of the BDSM to be in a relationship with Christian, but the choice was hers and she decided in the end it is to much for her to handle and she just wants a “normal” relationship with him.
Let me talk for a moment about this screenplay and acting. – Ugh. – An actors or actresses lines in most movies should be natural, this is not. Forced sexual dialog is not natural in anyone’s book. The phrase “I would like to F@$& you now” in a straight deadpan delivery showcases the terrible writing and the uninspired acting and would turn no one on.
The overall visual and cinematography was nice but be warned the movie was grey. Not black and white like an old movie (which would have been a fun idea) but location, wardrobe were selected to be grey, especially when the scene where more focused on the Christian “Grey” character. This is an obvious director decision to showcase the internal struggle Christian was experiencing, but also to highlight the “Red Room of Pain” later on in the film. The only room that gave him control that he wanted in life. A good color decision, but too blatantly obvious for my taste. I think the director could have been more subtle and less heavy handed on the color palette of this film.
Ultimately I came out of that theater satisfied that I saw a movie that got me thinking and talking with my peers and loved ones. That kind of visceral reaction to create discussion and debate rarely comes out of movie these days. That to me is worth the price of admission.