Hello all, and welcome to another movie review – Fifty Shades of Grey! 😀
**** Reader discretion advised: This post contains discussion of kinky type adult content and BDSM practices. ****
Starring: Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey), Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele)
Plot (taken from IMDb):
“Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.”
Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) – Holy mother of- *ahem* I mean… This actor did an amazing job of playing Christian Grey. I sometimes had issue with the book version, but his big screen incarnation is intense.
Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) – I’ve always been on the fence about this character, but I really like the movie version of her. She’s adorable.
They did it.
They really, actually did it. O.O
Now, I’m not here to rag on other writers, but the book was not my cup of tea. It wasn’t a writing style I could easily get into, and I was often distracted by Ana’s noisy subconscious and inner goddess. That’s just my preference, to each their own. I know a lot of people who absolutely loved it, and the inclusion of the inner goddess/subconscious heckling peanut gallery.
It also didn’t help matters that the ending of the book really ruffled my feathers, so to speak. I’ve been told by others that the way things went down, especially in that last scene, is generally not the way BDSM is really done.
Unfortunately, these factors made it so I was unwilling to read the following two books, despite people telling me it gets better from there.
But, with all that said, why would I ever feel the urge to watch the movie?
Because Secretary meets erotic Twilight fanfiction, that’s why.
While I have some nitpicky little issues with Twilight, but still like it over all, I actually love Secretary. It was surprisingly cute for a movie about sadomasochism, and approached the whole subject with this quirky sense of humor.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the screen version of Fifty Shades took the same approach in places. There were several funny moments, where I really appreciated Ana’s character a lot more.
At first the pacing seemed a little off, however. The whole beginning flew by, and before I knew it they were all over each other.
There were some unexpectedly gentle moments from Mr. Grey, and times where he really seemed to care a lot more than he wanted to let on.
The rest of the movie, however, was a lot of naked.
A LOT OF NAKED.
Sexy naked time on that bed over there. (>O.O)>
Sexy naked time tied to that bed post over there. <(O.O<)
Sexy naked time chained up from the ceiling over yonder. ^(O.O)^
So. Much. Naked.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, especially since this is a movie based on an erotic BDSM series of books. It would be crazy for it not to be extra steamy.
There was hair pulling, spanking, blindfolds, whipping with riding crops and floggers, ice cube foreplay, ropes, shackles, and neckties, oh my.
None of this would have worked without Jamie Dornan’s intensity as Mr. Grey fueling the flames too. The playroom and sexual acts themselves were one thing, but the best part was how the chemistry between the characters was handled, and how Mr. Grey was portrayed. He was confident, rough, hungry, and so dominant. He knew exactly what he wanted, and he wasn’t at all shy about taking it. However he wanted, whenever he wanted, and as many times as he wanted.
Not that Ana minded. Because she really, really didn’t.
And she was worn out, and really sleepy after, lol.
However, the ending still got me, just like the book.
Feathers: ruffled. -.-#
Mr. Grey has demons, and didn’t bother explaining anything – not how he was feeling or why he felt that way, or what his needs really meant, or anything that could have helped prepare Ana. He refused to be open with her, lost his shit, and did the exact opposite of what a good Dominant (I’m told by others) would have done by knowingly pushing her much farther than she was ready for. She did ask to be shown what he needed, but he didn’t have to do it like that. He broke the trust a Dominant builds with his Submissive, and that’s huge.
According to “a friend,” there are different ways to do BDSM, some involving pain and some not, but the key components are trust, and looking out for your partner. I even read ~ here ~ that it’s really the Submissive who’s more in control of the situation. The rules agreed upon by the Submissive dictate what can happen, and what can’t.
If anyone out there has a curiosity about BDSM, “a friend” suggests doing research outside this series of books. There is no doubt in my mind that the author had no ill intentions in portraying things the way she did, but it can be dangerous to jump into something like this without a proper understanding of safety. There are lots of resources out there from the perspective of safe, sane, and consensual (SSC) practices.
*steps off soapbox*
And talk about a damn cliff-hanger! There is no way in hell there won’t be sequels – I would actually be upset if there weren’t.
But how do they fix this ending they left viewers with? Can they fix it? I guess time, and the sequels, will tell? We shall see.
Hell, I may even dust off the second book because of this. So – success?
All I know is Mr. Grey has A TON of explaining, groveling, and begging to do to even get close to making things up to Ana.
My rating for Fifty Shades of Grey: Somewhere between Not Bad and Cash-Worthy – I’m still kinda on the fence here. While I enjoyed the film adaptation a lot more than I thought I would, I’m still not sure how I feel about the pacing and the ending. Check this out if you like movies like Secretary or the Fifty Shades of Grey books, or BDSM/erotic romance in general.
PS: The soundtrack is amazing though! 😀
My Rating System:
Epic: This movie is so mind-bogglingly awesome that I may go see it twice. This one will have a place of honor on my shelf.
Cash-Worthy: Good stuff. This will most likely find a place on my shelf.
Not Bad: I liked it. I’m glad I saw it, and it may or may not end up on my shelf at some point. I would say rent it first to be safe.
Meh: Rent it first. You may love it or hate it, but I’m indifferent probably because it’s not my type of movie. I’m glad I saw it, but it won’t end up on my shelf.
Emergency Cake: I have an emotional reaction to movies sometimes, especially to tragedies. If a movie makes me sad or angry, sometimes it will stick with me for a while. At these times, only chocolate cake can save me. Chocolate cake makes everything better. No shelf for you. Ever.
The Christian & Ana Wallpaper I used at the end is by theanyanka, and can be found on DeviantArt ~ here.
I’m 61 . . . that means I am not only old-fashioned, but old, too.
Also, not being a woman (80% of the readership of these books) I have zero interest in this. However . . .
I can’t help but think as follows, strictly based on reading the synopsis . . .
my first impression is both the book and the movie are undoing any good the “No means No!” campaign did.
Not just blaming the book and the movie, as women are not doing themselves any favors by driving its book sales – http://bit.ly/1AZ14sw.
Say you are a typical neanderthal male, what message do you get from that and all the ‘buzz’ and ‘anticipation’?
Never mind that for a woman it may be ‘fantasy’ and ‘escapism’. I guarantee there will be a significant percentage of males who will not interpret it like that. I should add that I’m not blaming women . . . they should be free to read and watch whatever they want.
That said, it is frustrating this is getting so much exposure and hype.
My main objection with this is that it’s being sold as a love story. Call me old, naive, less-than-wordly, and a fuddy-duddy, but love should (and sadly I know it’s not nearly as often as it should) be based on mutual trust, respect, and most important, the two individuals being somewhat on equal footing, and if not initially on equal footing, that condition is the primary preoccupation of the individuals involved.
None of that is true here.
Now, I get it . . . I gather the ‘hero’ is supposed to be good-looking . . . unlike the vast majority of males who, despite mirrors, often think of themselves as structural components of home construction.
Plus, he is filthy rich – here too, the filthy rich young magnates don’t look like this guy (Bill Gates, Zuckerman, etc).
What exactly is the message here? “If he’s good-looking, has money, let’s overlook the fact he’s a creepy, abusive, and dominating stalker.”
Not a great message, but again . . . old fuddy-duddy here.
I’ve had opposing arguments thrown at me with the following prominent excuse: “it’s consensual!”
Consensual is one of those funny words . . . often used as a defense in rape and abuse cases. And you know what? It works.
There is a perception a woman should be able to stop from being raped, and that if she is raped, some of the blame is hers. You hear of abuse cases that go on for years . . . no violence; just psychological pressure. Some of it is societal, some religious, and some because a significant segment of humanity are scum.
How many cases have you read of people in positions of power taking advantage of people working for or subservient to them? The lawyers will always say that the victim ‘could have said “no” but didn’t.’
There are many reasons for it, all psychologically and economically understood.
“BUT IT’S A LOVE STORY!”
yeah . . . he is tender, caring, concerned for her; his first thought is her well-being and his commitment to her happiness and sharing their future together.
No . . . wait.
Look, I get it. It’s SEX, close to porn sex, and both men and women enjoy porn here and there.
That said, it is frustrating this is getting so much exposure and hype.
I’m sure the porn industry has this and much worse, but it’s not paraded in front of anyone, and certainly not glorified by mainstream media. It lends it an air of legitimacy to a product that does not deserve it. Lost in the hype are the complaints from actual victims of abuse.
AND . . . as I said in the beginning of this rant, I think it sends the wrong message, not just to women (worse than Twilight), but more importantly to a certain segment of the male population who already think all women ‘want it’, and you just have to be forceful to give them what they surely crave.
It would be an interesting social experiment to track reports of assaults over the next few years (except, how many would report it . . . “Ms, is it true you mentioned you are a big fan of 50 Shades of Gray? The defense rests, your honor.”
I surely hope the numbers will continue dropping, as they have been . . . but, sadly, I will not be surprised if that trend is interrupted. I especially feel bad for wives in abusive relationships, and for women who may enter into relationships and who get a rude awakening to the real world.
I really, really, really hope I am wrong; just another fuddy-duddy not hep with the way things are these days.
. . . OK, I’m done now.
Lol, I don’t think you’re a fuddy-duddy at all, and you’re definitely not naïve. You’re being a voice of reason here, and you make really good points – it’s very true that this can be dangerous. And, admittedly, I do have a tendency to look at things like this as harmless fantasy – which, in itself, is a naïve outlook to have in a way. I know, logically, I shouldn’t just assume that there’s no harm done with this kind of fantasy.
Because of all the hype, this is no longer “just a piece of erotic fiction.” People are trying these things, and even putting themselves in dangerous situations. It isn’t just “harmless fantasy” if you run across someone who, under the guise of kink, really wants to hurt you, and has no concern for your wellbeing.
It’s terrifying to know that it’s probably true that someone may look at this and decide “no means no” no longer applies. I wish the exposure and hype it’s getting would also include exposure to the necessity for safety above all else. I’ve heard stories where fans have tried to jump into the deep end, and have had rude awakenings, and it’s horrible.
It’s also sickening to know that the definition of the word “consent” is up for debate in court rooms. No one asks to be raped or abused, and it’s disgusting that something like how the victim dresses, or if the victim was intoxicated at the time, can be used as a defense for these monsters.
I was reading a movie review once where the reviewer commented about pedophiles, but I think this also applies to rapists and abusers too: “There’s nothing wrong with a pedophile that the flat end of a shovel and a vat of DNA splicing acid can’t fix.”
As for the characters, while I do like dark heroes, and even anti-heroes, what I find most appealing in the character of Christian Grey is the confidence. Lol, it does help that he’s handsome, but I think that self-assuredness, and the way he carries himself, is more appealing. For me, the filthy rich part doesn’t factor in importance at all. I could never find a handsome rich guy appealing if he was a horrible person. *bleh* I’d be curious to see what the psychology of the appeal is over all, for other readers. There has to be a study somewhere. What is it about a more dominant type of male that is appealing? Maybe this is a step up (or down, depending on how you look at it) from the regular bad boy archetype?
The dark side to that, however, is that he has demons he hasn’t worked out. He can’t even stand to let Ana touch him, or sleep in the same bed with him. He states that he’s not into dating, or doing couple-y type things, or love in general. It seems like part of his dominant personality has more to do with a messed up defense mechanism than with a kink. All of this then leads to that final scene in the movie. *ugh* That was far from loving. It was venting, and using her as the scapegoat. That was not romantic, kinky, or sexy in any way. That was, as the character states himself, “fifty shades of fucked up.”
God help the man that raises a violent hand to me. O.o
Although I shouldn’t just limit it to males. There are cases of women abusing their significant other too, although it’s not heard of nearly as often.
So, God help the person who raises a violent hand to me for any reason, unless I’ve gone insane and am coming at them with a weapon. O.o
To call this a love story, from the perspective of only having skimmed the first book, and seeing the first movie, is a big stretch for me. I don’t see it as being about love on his side up until the very end. From the beginning, he doesn’t know how to love, and by the time he figures it out, it’s too late. And even then, he won’t admit, even to himself, that he cares about her at all. The dude has Issues – capital “I” – that he needs to face.
And, as for Ana, my problem with her in the book is that she’s so bent on being with this one guy that she compromises herself and what she’s comfortable with. She’s got a little more will and self-preservation in the movie, but not by much. I don’t really call that love either. She’s kind of obsessed, to the point of ignoring her own needs.
This kind of fantasy, and the hype it generates because it’s so risqué, can be a damaging phenomenon, especially if it isn’t combined with knowledge. After talking to “a friend” (mentioned in the post) about it for a while, and seeing how their spouse treats them, I don’t think BDSM is an evil thing, but the way it’s portrayed in this book and movie can be dangerous. It’s not an accurate representation of what I’ve seen from “a friend.” BDSM is definitely not for everyone, and there are psychos out there that prey on people who think they’re going to find their fantasy Christian Grey or Anastasia Steele on Craig’s List or something, and that’s why I put those last couple paragraphs in there about the SSC practices.
I pray your fears don’t come to pass too, but I can see it. Anytime something like this is brought out into the open, there are people who will take advantage of it, and that is a very scary thing.
I’d watch this version . . .
Lol, that is perfect! XD I’d totally watch it!
And now I have no need to see the movie! lol
Lol, now that I think of it, it was mostly lots of naked – sorry for the spoilers! XD