Saturday, February 21, 2015

Exactly How Bad Was Fifty Shades of Grey The Movie? Worse Than You Thought.

Now before you all yell at me for that title and start accusing me of being biased or being too young to understand the movie, let me just say I read the book. Sure, I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading it, as the blurb reveals absolutely NOTHING out of the usual, but I still read it. Actually, I read the whole series. In tenth grade. So I like to think I'm not too immature to give this movie a fair rating. Also, I thought the series was amazing(ish), especially the first book. Yeah, the whole BDSM thing was new to me, but the relationship between Ana and Christian, as well as their character development throughout the series - and add to that the fact that Ana goes after what she wants, but at the same time isn't afraid to say no - made the whole thing a unique experience, and something I wasn't about to regret. In fact, I had pretty high expectations for this movie, especially after seeing the trailer. Plus, the fact that Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) played Graham in Once Upon A Time was another aspect that had me shaking off any doubts and choosing to go watch the movie. But yeah, despite all that, it was still a huge disappointment. And really weird (which is to be expected, I suppose).

I was pretty much raving to everyone I knew about how much I wanted to watch this film, and finally, last Tuesday, I finally got the chance to watch it. The movie started out great, with Christian and Anna doing their cute flirting thing, but after a while it got...unusual. In the book, their relationship makes sense, as hard as that is to believe. Readers are given a definite reason why and how the characters go from point A to point B. I don't want to say that the film was rushed - those 125 minutes were more than enough for me - but there was no explanation for anything. This only makes haters hate on Fifty even more, and that is enough cause to distress anyone. The acting felt very stilted to me, and it seemed like everything was forced. Sure, Christian and Ana's relationship isn't exactly flowing, but still, the book is a paradox of simple and complex, and this wasn't properly portrayed in the movie. To be honest, neither of the actors looked like they wanted to be doing what they were doing. It simply wasn't the emotional romance I had been expecting.

Everyone has been raving about the music, and I'll admit that that part was perfect. There's absolutely nothing about the music that I could abhor even if I tried. Besides, with a best friend who is obsessed with the soundtrack, I don't even think it's possible to hate it and live. Nevertheless, the music doesn't make up for everything else I disliked about the movie, and there's not much else to say about that.

So. To the part of the film that actually caused the film to be rated R (this is where my 17 year old self comes in). Well, I knew there was going to be nudity, but this movie really cut it close. Like, uncomfortably close. If I never look upon any skin again, it shall be too soon. No, but really, there actually weren't too many sex scenes, and for that I was glad. Turns out there is a HUGE difference between reading about something and actually seeing it. Still, one such scene is too much for me, and that probably factors into my dislike for the movie. However, the sex scenes in this movie were just sex, while in the book there was reason and emotion and it meant something. I realize that's probably hard to depict in a movie regardless, but it still dampened my expectations. I watched the film for heated glances between the two main characters and for some actually LOVE, but what I got was a flat version of the book that had the highlights but cut out the details.

What all of this basically translates to is that if anyone asks me about this movie, I will say I dislike it, as it falls woefully short of my expectations. However, I would like to bring up the topic of people refusing to watch this movie because of the fact that it is abuse. People have the right to do and say whatever they want, and that's okay, but I would like to point out the fact that millions of people have already said: the relationship is wholly consensual, and thus not abuse. This type of thing happens in the real world, and while there are many instances of BDSM abuse and non-consensuality, Fifty Shades of Grey is not one of those cases! That is only emphasized in the movie when it is made clear, over and over again, that Ana only has to say the word "red" for Christian to completely stop what he is doing. And I mean, people have their fetishes. If Ana wants what she wants, good for her. IT IS NOT ABUSE.

And with that, I will end this torture of a review. My advice: stay far, far away from this movie. If you're interested in this type of thing, read the book!

Movie Synopsis: Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 American erotic romantic drama film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson with a screenplay by Kelly Marcel. Based on British author E. L. James' bestselling novel of the same name, the film stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a college graduate who begins a sadomasochistic relationship with young business magnate Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).

The film premiered at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival on February 11, 2015 and had a wide theatrical release on February 13, 2015 by Universal Pictures. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, it was an immediate box office success, earning more than $265 million. A sequel is planned for a 2016 release.

Source: Watched the film at the movie theater.

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Release Date: February 13, 2015
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Running Time: 125 minutes
MPAA Rating: R