Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Screenplay: Kelly Marcel
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dorman
The Fifty Shades of
“You must be glad if you translate a third of the content as you can’t convey the richness of a novel which is 300 pages long.”From what I’ve read of Fifty Shades, it seems clear that there’s little penetration (snigger) or richness to be found, with E.L James’ lead character, Anastasia Steele feeling like an awkward mixture of Mills & Boon and Robin from the 60’s Batman series. As a book, 50 Shades gives hope to crummy writers in that, however naff your writing can be, there’s still a chance you can make a bucket load of money (there’s hope for me yet).
Originally based on a piece of Twilight fan fiction, Fifty Shades of
It’s a film that seems to clearly acknowledge its sparkly vampire roots, opening to an ever
Frustratingly, the film’s source material hampers much of the playfulness. The character of Christian
Fifty Shades the film helps destroy some of the naff writing that came with the book and yet it still suffers from dubious dialogue, naïve views to relationships and sexuality, as well as general awareness. This man is so rich and clearly has a certain amount of fame around him and yet he manages to slip in and out of clubs like a ninja with no one noticing him. After the first time Christian and Anastasia have sex, to see him playing the piano like such a tragic haunted phantom is more laughable than emotional. Jamie Dorman does his best to make Christian a restrained and controlling figure, but unlike his impressive
Yet the film is gorgeous to look at (shot by The Avengers' Seamus McGarvey), the performances often hold more chemistry than the net gossip and early reviews suggested. Although the sex itself is mechanical and stiff it at least suggests at female pleasure more over male. I do feel there’s a certain amount of female gaze at play over the more typical male.
The biggest problem with a film like this is there's not enough decent female led and female driven features, not enough decent western films dealing with sexuality and not enough mainstream movies interested in outright adult situations. There needs to be more films with similar material to make our basic appreciation of cinematic sex and romance stronger. To see a more effective look at the role of BDSM and sexual power play, you would have to go back at least 13 years to 2002's indie feature Secretary. Foreign features such as the aforementioned The Piano Teacher are still light years ahead in digging into the complexity of material such as this. David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1984) dealt well with the idea of such transgressive
It's best to remember that there will be many who are seeking this film out who will be able to remove the right amount of reality in order to enjoy the fantasy. The more complicated talk about the male character's abuse and manipulation is important, but ineffectual to a certain crowd who will be able to paraphrase the infamous tagline from Last House on the Left (it’s only a movie) in order to enjoy the film. I feel this is important, as many people's abrupt disregard for others people’s enjoyment of something like this not only spurs the hype machine on, but also illustrates a massive gulf of why people sought out and found enjoyment of the text. As bad as the book’s writing is, and as uneven as the film shows itself, if we as an audience were more willing to embrace adult situations within our entertainment, and hold up more female driven fare, Fifty Shades would have more likely been a footnote rather than a landmark.
Fifty Shades of Gray will in no way enter my list of