- Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson
- With: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle
- 125 Minutes
First of all, and before start the actual review of the adaptation of the erotic novel that changed the reading habits of millions of people and that created a trend and a genre, I want you to know that remain in an indifferent position regarding both the subject and the history itself. I don’t understand the hate as much as I don’t understand the devotion and the way this romance engaged women all around the world. People started enjoying the genre and a clear evidence of this fact is the huge number of tickets already sold since December without any sort of reviews for a movie that will only going to be released tomorrow. Fifty Shades of Grey is not the terrible thing you may’ve heard about in the internet, but it isn’t worthy of the attention it’s been getting this last few days… It’s just a romance that happens to feature violent sex scenes that may or not be considered as abusive and that features the most traditional characters you could ever imagine: the innocent girl and the rich and powerful man (well in this case it’s more like profoundly rich… Seriously, that guy had everything you could imagine). For the fans, for the haters and for those who remain indifferent or that show a tiny bit curiosity regarding the movie, here it’s my review of Fifty Shades of Grey.
Curious, aren’t you? It’s not usual to see a romance getting this kind of attention every day… But again, this was the novel that back in 2011 created a genre that began to attract and please women. So, the power of this one is quite remarkable. Yet again, I feel forced to say that is nothing more than just an ordinary romance that begins with an actually funny and cool pace and that ends in a troubled and violent way. I wasn’t that familiar with Dakota Johnson (I’ve seen a couple of movies starring her) and I must say that she was the reason why I ended up caring about the history. She’s a beautiful woman that shows a quite interesting attitude during most of the time and that made me slightly enjoy what I was about to see. But first, is it that shocking? Well if you are talking about the sex scenes only, some are a bit hard to see but there’s no reason to say it’s controversial. If you wish to see more than what Fifty Shades of Grey shows, I must advise you to check on Mr. Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.
The plot, just like I’ve said before is quite simple to understand and to explain… Anastasia Steele, a literature student working on her thesis, goes to interview the rich and powerful Christian Grey, as a favor to her roommate Kate. While Anastasia is an innocent girl who still has lot to discover about herself, Kate is like the complete opposite, so they end up close friends. But then we have the brilliant and intimidating (according to Kate, also hot) Christian that Anastasia meets in the interview. As a naïve girl, Ana becomes obsessed and awkwardly attracted with the Grey behaves near her. He intimidates her with his reservation and he appears to want everything in his control… So just like any ordinary girl in a romance, Ana decides to get close to him, instead of just walking away. The problem is that her desperation couldn’t prepare her for what comes next. As a dominant man, Christian finds amusing and fascinating the way Ana sees the world, besides feeling attracted with her beauty, so he admits that he wants her too. The question is that in regular cases, this would mean a quiet and peaceful relationship but for Grey, a man incapable of loving and doing romance, what he wants will lead Ana into a life she wasn’t ready for. And so, Ana, the innocent, becomes Ana, the curious one and while she finds out more stuff about Christian’s past, she gets too involved into an obsession that can put her in danger.
Without her inner goddess (someone told me that she had one in the books), Anastasia appears to be just this regular and beautiful girl filled with dreams and ambitions and that happens to fall into something unexpected. She is the complete opposite of the obsessive Christian and is also responsible for making the history a bit less dark and dramatic. Ana’s need of free will clashes with Grey’s controlling urges and at first this is quite amusing to see, in the sense that the begging of their relationship is probably the only moment where you’ll have a chance to laugh or feel a bit more absorbed with the characters. In fact during those moments I was actually enjoying the whole thing. Dakota’s performance was charming and funny and she managed to get my attention with a good and kind personality. However, then we have the clumsy mysterious guy, who is a bit more awkward and whose thoughts and ideas are quite hard to understand. Probably thing I enjoyed the less in the whole movie, was the development of this character… Yes I know that it’s a trilogy but yet again the movie ends in a quite rushed and open way that fails keeping the interest and the hype. Grey’s mystery and obsession is basically the main plot of Fifty Shades of Grey and I must say I found Jamie Dornan’s performance to be quite disappointing. So when these two characters begin to relate, the whole thing just works and seems more natural thanks to Ana’s personality. Seriously, I know that Christian had a troubled childhood but he was just too weird.
The true issue with the whole movie, in my opinion, is that fact that it begins in a kind of ironic and funny way while we are still getting familiar with the characters and this were honestly the most enjoyable moments in the movie because as soon as Christian introduces Ana to his play room the cool and clumsy pace that I was actually enjoying changes into something dark in which I didn’t see almost any development regarding the story. Christian’s obsession with Ana starts to make no sense at all when he asks her to literally sign a contract of submissiveness that would allowed him to do the things he enjoyed. Ana seizes his obsession to rush and control things in order to find out more things about his past but when she is almost getting somewhere, they begin having sex. So he’s constantly avoiding her and she is helplessly in love with his intriguing and mysterious attitude. From this moment on, few things happen and you are invited to witness some brutal sex scenes that some consider as highly abusive but that are definitely not too shocking. With a story that lacks content to last for two hours and that begins good but ends in a not compelling way and with a cool soundtrack that features some pretty nice POP hits, Fifty Shades of Grey is a lot far from being great but it’s not the worst thing I’ve seen. So ignore the haters and the lovers and watch it if you’re really curious to see it. In the end, it fulfilled some of my expectations and thanks to Dakota’s performance it managed to entertain me. Clearly made for the fans of the novel, Fifty Shades of Grey is definitely going to be one of this year’s greatest hits.