I mean, the rule doesn’t necessarily apply here in exactly the same way but with a film such as The Expendables, for instance, there is always so much huff and puff about how it’s light on plot/the dialogue is shit/acting not up to much and I think, well duh but it’s fun, isn’t it? Is this not why we are here? (In style of Maximus Decimus Crowe).
With this in mind, I’m not going to tear this film a new one just because it’s inspired by a very badly written trilogy of books, about a frankly iffy relationship. I had a lot of fun with my movie date and passed through a range of emotions during the viewing, including: embarrassment, mirth, bemusement, rage and indifference.
50 Shade of Grey (2015)
I didn’t like the books but I read them anyway, so I had a point of reference when people talked about them. Wanting to be part of it is why I went to see the film, and because I wanted to see how it’s director, Sam Taylor-Johnson had adapted it, even with the input of E.L. James.
Let’s quickly do the negatives: This film is by no stretch the worst I’ve ever seen but it does have a TV Movie vibe about it. The acting is okay, borderline wooden at times. I think Dakota Johnson is quite likeable, despite being a bit of a caricature of ‘sexy’ with her breathy voice and big eyes. Jamie Dornan really doesn’t do it for me and I just don’t think there’s anything stand out about his performance, though they both do what they can with what they’ve got.
The dialogue is terrible, mainly because James is a truly horrible writer and it seems as though Taylor-Johnson lost the battle to refine it. At least we’re spared the whole ‘inner goddess’ schtick though, which is a massive Pro and should go on the positives list.
The sex scenes are a lot saucier than I expected, which probably sounds like a ridonkulous thing to say about a film about BDSM but I know what I mean. I was reassured by the fact that it was actually quite sexual, I thought it would be pseudo-sexy but somehow decidedly innocent. They actually do fuck, which is nice.
The bondage scenes are a bit samey. Perhaps we’re being gently eased in before they bring out the big guns for the next instalment (though I have read it and I’m thinking, probably not). I don’t know much about BDSM but I understand that the community have taken umbrage to some of the misconceptions it is promoting. All I know is that the Red Room is kept very beautifully.
And finally, I think it would be remiss not to mention the relationship at the centre of the ‘story’. I mean, I wouldn’t be happy to live with someone so controlling (I consider myself a survivor of a controlling relationship and I know it’s no joke). He has ‘issues’ and although the fact that Mr Grey is messed up by his past is the reason he can’t do the ‘hearts and flowers’ and would prefer to buy his acquaintances with material goods, it’s no excuse.
I think it does veer into worrying territory, certainly in the books. I am interested to see what happens next in the films, as I do hope for some push back from Ana; just a bit of empowerment. We’ll see, she says, not holding her breath.
What’s good though? There are a few scenes where it looks like the two leads are having fun. I’m thinking of the ‘negotiation scene’ in particular which I won’t elaborate on as I don’t want to drop any spoilers. Maybe it’s because they talk about anal, who knows? It always makes me do a LOL.
I did laugh a lot in general and sometimes it was even intentional.
It looks nice.
And as above, I’m happy it was more adult that I was expecting, although I didn’t anticipate how awkward it would be to watch sex scenes with my good friend. It’s supposed to be a romantic film, so the cheesiness made me cringe out loud a few times. L’s face throughout was an absolute picture, which made me snort even harder.
Also, when we entered the theatre, it was empty but for three teenage males. We wondered if they were in the wrong film but as it played on, they were very quiet and focused, with their coats on their laps. Most surreal.
That’s actually about it. The negatives do seem to outweigh the positives but still, I did have a good cinema experience (including a hot dog AND popcorn) and tried to take this for what it is.
I will wax lyrical at some point about the films that I actually do find sexy, including the oft compared to 50 Shades BDSM film, Secretary. But until then *thwack* (that’s the sound of a riding crop, for the uninitiated).