Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) is a literature student who finds herself interviewing famous billionaire cheekbone stand Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). She is instantly besotted in him, but she will soon find out that he isn’t like most other men, he is a man of very “singular” tastes.
What Fifty Shades has managed to do, is become the most hyped film of a year that contains a Jurassic park reboot, a new Avengers film and another Star Wars episode. And that is an achievement that needs to be acknowledged. It also means that no matter the quality of the movie it will make a shit load at the box office. To be honest, to many it probably won’t matter how the film is as long as they can talk about it.
Now if you’ve read the reviews you will have noticed many people have gone completely mental and said things like “Films like this should be forbidden” and it’s the “worst movie ever!” it’s really not as bad as they are saying it is. It’s actually fairly difficult to feel anything especially passionate about it. The overwhelming feeling given after your viewing experience is over is just mild boredom.
There are things worthy of credit about it. On a technical level it’s a fairly good movie. It’s nicely shot, the locations are very nice, the soundtrack at times is very good, and it all looks quite well directed. It also looks like the two lead actors Johnson and Dornan are doing their very best with what is categorically abysmal dialogue.
However, there are elements of Fifty Shades that are just plain awful. Forefront of its flaws is the dialogue – which as I understand it are mostly direct lifts from the novel – nobody in the film talks like human beings, and none of it is faintly sexual “I want to fuck you into the middle of next week” What? How? Does that even make sense? Whatever your thoughts on that phrase, you certainly aren’t aroused. And this lack of sexuality in a film that’s origins are overtly sexual is a big problem. And this all stems from your lack of empathy for the central characters, they just never do or say anything you can really relate to. At times it feels like it’s a film about two Topshop mannequins, well dressed and good looking yes but with no personality traits outside gender stereotype whatsoever.
But never does it get so bad that you are left angry or sad about the outcome. Disappointed maybe, bored quite probably, disengaged almost definitely. What it really is, is your bog standard instantly forgettable romance film with the twist of BDSM. Incidentally this BDSM is the most vanilla flavoured, white bread, Coldplay sounding, beige coloured wallpaper version of kinky sex you could imagine. When Christian reveals his “playroom” the score would have you believe it is this home of debauchery and sin, something so twisted and shocking Dorian Grey would’ve felt uncomfortable. In reality it’s just a dimly lit room with a few belts and a handcuff in it. I have heard from many people interested in BDSM that it’s a really shoddy representation of it, and one that they are really disappointed with.
Overall, whatever anyone says about its quality, nothing will change the fact that people have and will continue to go and see it. I’ve read enough of the book to know that this is a vast improvement. And generally it would seem that everybody involved did their best with what they were given.