Books are a powerful medium for expressing ideas, and also a foundation to which many movies are based on. Perhaps one book that stands as a powerful influence is unfortunately 50 shades of grey. This “love” book is supposed to be one of dominance, submission, supposed romance, and traveling into the unknown. However, most think of the graphic portrayal of sex when they hear the title. So when a movie was being thrown together I wondered just what was in store for the cinematic world. Upon seeing the trailers, here is what you might….
Expect: Graphic sex scenes, a true adaptation to the book, seductively powerful music, and a simplistic story.
What you get:
- Graphic sex scenes are indeed one of the selling points of this series, and this movie brings those scenes to life… well mostly. A simple make out scene in the elevator quickly transcends into more risqué moves, fully equipped with the moans, gasps, and winces of pain, (from both me and the movie). The punishment and passion are all caught on camera, and fans will get to see their imagination unfold into acts of weird copulation. For the guys, plenty of female booty and booby to go around as Dakota Johnson strips down to her birthday suit more than once. As for Jamie Dornan, girls get to see a stand out six pack and well built body, but sorry no penises for you to be enthralled by. Disappointed? Well be assured you get a lot of the dominating factors in the film, but if you want the really raunchy stuff, then wait for the director’s cut or hit the internet. Yes, I admit that there is some taste in the film installment that is suitable for the R rating, though with a series like this, it is not hard to do. Will the sex scenes live up to your expectations? Only you can be the judge, but this reviewer was relieved with the direction.
- Raunchy parts aside, both my friend and I agree that they stuck to the elements of the book. The set up and characters remain true, with Christian Grey still being a tormented soul that comes off as a pompous ass. Dornan knows how to pout, scream, negotiate, and did I mention smack ass. He plays the obsessed part well, especially those creepy stalker eyes, almost as if he is that obsessive in real life. Miss Anastasia still has her wits about her, manipulating the man who has it all and doing it surprisingly with some pep in her step. Dakota plays the character very wispy, sort of fragile and pathetic, yet also strong as the movie unfolds, despite the mess she is getting herself in. Nonetheless, the structure is there for you to grab hold of and fall back into the world you may have fallen for.
- By far the best part of the movie is the solid soundtrack to go with the visuals. Whoever was in charge of the music had a knack for matching each passionate moment with the right song. The remix of Beyonce’s song in particular had power as the first pleasure of Anastasia comes to life, the raw animalistic heat matching the seductiveness of the song. My roommate in particular found the track list to be well selected. I agree that despite the common theme, there was some variety to the mix. However, if you are not a fan of the sultry, suave soundtrack then again you’ll have to suffer through it, but fortunately it is not that bad.
- As for the story, well movie goers when it comes to the fine art of screenplays… this one is not one of my favorites. How a tale of dominance becomes one of the most popular tales I don’t know. Even more so, how has this not had almost every female getting upset at the demeaning behavior in this series? Getting off of the soap box, 50 shades has the typical drama/romance elements with a girl finding a guy, falling for the guy, and obstacles hindering their progress. The dominance twist is nice for those that like that kind of stuff, but the details bored me and the shallow characters that compose the tale did little for me. Anastasia was really the only thing quality keeping me in the film, mostly due to the semi realistic character she is. For this reviewer though, the drama, sass, and “love” lacked any real meaning an edge and left me laughing more than gasping. Even the dialog had me chuckling at the cheesy innuendos and literature references that were delivered in a very humorous manner. Whether it was on purpose or not, I’m not certain. However, what I am certain about is that the audience was laughing like this film was a comedy.
Despite all the hype and skepticism, the team of 50 shades of grey did a half decent job at keeping this pornographic drama classy. Fans of the book should be okay with the “story” aspects of the movie, but will most likely feel cheated of the sex scenes. While the acting is not the best I have seen, the cast does a decent job with the characters they have been given. I stress you go into this film with low expectations and friends who can make some jokes, because that might have been the best part of the whole experience. This movie is by far no masterpiece, but it is also not the worst thing I have seen either. Worth a trip to the theater? Not really, unless you want to hear the soundtrack in high definition glory.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.5-6.0