FILM REVIEW: Fifty Shades of Grey attempts to rewrite the script of love
Rolling the eyes equals three slaps on the bare ass.
That is if you are Anastasia Steele, 21, a literature student at college, and you just rolled your eyes on Christian Grey, 27, a billionaire entrepreneur, who openly announces is “good with people” but is hiding his dark side from the public.
Christian is known to get what he wants. Now he wants Anastasia. But to truly know what Christian wants, a contract has to be signed, a contract, defining the dominant/submissive relationship.
However, Anastasia is not easily lured to signing papers thrown at her, but the dark-haired hunter is a dangerous seducer.
A signed contract or not, Christian slowly introduces Anastasia to his world of ropes, feathers and belts.
Hands are tied and eyes concealed, one cannot move, one is to remain silent – or there will be punishment.
But this is what Christian enjoys most. In his words, “That’s just the way I am.”
If Anastasia is to love him, she needs to accept this.
‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by the British author, E. L. James, is a phenomenon. The trilogy alone has been translated into 51 languages around the world and it has been sold for over 100 million copies. In Finland alone, 215,000 copies have found their way on the night stands.
When the trailer for the film was released in August last year, the demand for Fifty Shades of Grey sex toys rose almost 88 per cent in one week in Finland.
On Monday, the pre-sales of the tickets for the Finnish premiere of the film on Friday was close to 20,000 tickets in the whole country, according to Liisa Lehmusto, the marketing coordinator at Finnkino.
But is ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ one to watch?
Anastasia is played by Dakota Johnson, an American fashion model and actor, a daughter of the star of the ‘Miami Vice’ TV show of the ’80s, Don Johnson.
Dakota is known for her previous roles in, among others, ‘The Social Network (2010)’, ‘21 Jump Street (2012)’ and ‘Need for Speed (2014)’.
Dakota’s role as Anastasia is the best part of the film. Her screen presence and how she acts the role of the innocence and determination and the naivety, however just subtle enough, to keep the viewer on toes.
At times, the strong character of Anastasia makes it confusing who’s controlling who: she or he? This adds tension and depth into the film.
Christian is played by Jamie Dornan, an Irish actor, known for such films as ‘Marie Antoinette (2006)’, and ‘The Fall (2013)’.
He plays his role well, too: at times I felt like punching Chris. And I have a feeling I am not the only one.
The director, like the author, is a woman, Sam Taylor-Johnson, a London-based director and actor known for directing short films like ‘James Bond Supports International Women’s Day’ (2011).
The directing is sometimes slow-paced; the film could have easily been squeezed into a shorter format, which is what the director is known for in the first place. The film runs at 125 minutes and there’s even a hint of a possible sequel.
The cinematography is clean and bright and has a certain MTV music look going on, even during the various sex scenes, without much play of shadow and light.
Oh, and the sex scenes. There are plenty of those. There’s plenty of bare nipple pointing at you on the big screen. Chris’s bare ass is also a focal point, but unlike Anastasia’s buttocks, Chris is featured in quick cuts: in and out, you know what I mean?
The film features a catchy soundtrack with artists ranging from Annie Lennox to Beyoncé.
Beyoncé’s ‘Cray In Love’ gets a new meaning during a sadomasochistic sex scene with whipping and fucking, if you pardon my French.
But, like Chris says:
“I don’t make love. I fuck. Hard.”