Fifty Shades of Grey follows Ana, a University student who interviews the very wealthy business man Christian Grey for the university paper, and in doing so starts a complicated relationship with him, for it turns out that Christian doesn’t do girlfriends but instead has ‘submissives’ and wants Ana as his next one. The story follows Ana as she learns about this new world of S&M whilst trying to get troubled Christian to give her more relationship wise.
The hotly anticipated film of the year was released nationwide on Valentine’s Day and my goodness has it had some press surrounding it since its release! I think it’s pretty much safe to say that everyone has read the books; therefore they will know that they’re not exactly literary greats. Let’s be honest here, people only read them for the sex scenes and not the actual storyline! I read them when they were first released back in 2011, purely because I was intrigued what the fuss was all about and because one of my friends was obsessed with them! I hadn’t touched them until last week when I thought I would read the first one again to reacquaint myself with the story. I can’t remember what I thought the first time I read it but re-reading it was a struggle. Ana’s character is annoying with her constant thinking and internal struggles and quite frankly I hated Christian by the end of the book.
However I was still interested in seeing the film, probably more to see how far they would go graphic wise than anything else. I went three days after its release so by then thousands of reviews had been released absolutely slating the film and the whole ‘abuse’ issue had been raised, discussed and thrown about the internet for all to see. I’m just going to say one thing about this issue, yes the relationship between Ana and Christian is verging on abuse due to him effectively stalking her, but what everyone fails to point out is that at any point Ana could have said no and he would have backed off. This is shown quite clearly at the end of the book/film where she does indeed say no. He never once forces himself on her, and reminds her of the safe words on numerous occasions. The stalking and the control he wishes to have on her is a little creepy I’ll give you that, but at the end of the day it’s just a story – and a badly written one at that! – which has been blown out of proportion and made into something which it’s not. I’m pretty sure when E.L. James wrote the books she wasn’t trying to promote abuse in any way; abuse probably didn’t come into her radar at all!
On to the film now though. Firstly, the soundtrack is brilliant. I’m officially obsessed with The Weeknd’s Earned It and Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do and all the songs are perfectly placed within the film to add to the drama (or sexiness in some cases). Director Sam Taylor-Johnson decided to make the film concentrate more on the relationship between Ana and Christian rather than the sex (something which has apparently caused tension between Sam and E.L. James) but personally I think this was the right way to go. I know that the books are purely about the sex but if the film had followed suit it would have been basically porn. A lot of people were complaining about the lack of sex, but I think there was just the right amount. The only thing I’m annoyed with is that I feel like I know Dakota Johnson’s body personally due to the amount of times we saw her naked body, and yet we got practically nothing of Jamie Dornan. Seeing as this film is for girls, it was disappointing not to get to see more of Jamie/Christian’s body. Other than that though the sex scenes were very tastefully done and they weren’t too graphic that it’s awkward to watch with a room full of people.
Overall I liked the film, yes it was cringey in places due to the appalling dialogue but I think Sam Taylor-Johnson did a very good job at interpreting a badly written book. Dakota Johnson is perfect as Ana, she gives off the right naivety as depicted in the book, but also shows hints of control (e.g. the business meeting, in which she wears the most gorgeous dress designed by Victoria Beckham!) and she gives us the best scene of the film when she drunkenly calls Christian!
When it was announced Jamie Dornan would be Christian I wasn’t so sure, purely because he looks too nice, but actually he portrays him very well. He doesn’t come across as such a psycho in the film as he does in the books, but instead you can really see how much he loves Ana in his twisted messed up way. Plus he walks around topless a lot showing off his gorgeous muscled arms and torso and has the most piercing blue eyes…
So yes I liked the film, it’s certainly not the best thing that’s ever been made but if you want a laugh with the girls then you should watch it!