Friday, 13 February 2015 00:00

MOVIE REVIEW - 50 Shades Of Grey

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There certainly has been no shortage of hype for the new 50 Shades Of Grey movie out this week. But does it deliver?

Before we begin, this movie is almost in a no-win situation even before the first frame was filmed.  The books are so big, popular and graphic that American movie making, rating systems, money and tolerance are all stacked against this right from the start.  They clearly could not make the movie that the book was in total. But with that said, and letting them off that hook, there are hooks they will not be able to escape from.


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This plot line obviously deals with sexual dominance and submission from a man with extreme control issues, that transfer into the "bedroom" and out of it as well.  Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is obsessed with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). He is an incredibly handsome 27 year-old billionaire who has everything on earth at his fingertips.  She is a college senior who is immensely awkward with virtually no sexual history. He cannot say the same.  This entire installment is this attempt to introduce her to his sexual preferences and convince her to be his "submissive. "  He even wants a legal agreement over it.  That's about all the actual plot line dealt with here in this first installment.

This movie is about 2 hours long, and there is about 30 minutes of what could be considered soft porn.  There are some sensual moments here that well done to a degree, but they sort of run out of ideas, and repeat the same scene a few more times.  As they slowly graduate up the ladder to a higher degree of dominance, the scenes don't really get any better or more provocative.  One of the real problems here is that these two actors don't really seem to have a real sense of great sexual chemistry between them.  At times this looks like two actors going through the motions on screen.

How you feel about this movie is going to be predicated on how you feel about watching someone get dominated sexually.  I have always maintained that sometimes it is one experience to read stories like this, and a completely different one when you see it play out on screen.  Many times the translation is tough because your imagination is now at rest, and you are seeing the actual reality of it all.  This is controversial and you understand why. And there will those who will have no interest whatsoever, and those who will be riveted to the screen who may see this a few times.


In a more perfect movie making world for this particular story, they would be economically able to make a far more courageous movie.  But the climate says no.  This cannot survive an NC-17 rating, and this was granted a harmless R.   Should be noted too, this is certainly not for everyone for many reasons, most of them obvious.  Also, this has the same basic formula feel as Twilight, Divergent, and The Hunger Games. Where there is this underdog young woman who will defy all odds, and rise up to in the end, emerge victorious over huge odds, and be better than before.

Dakota Johnson is the best thing in this movie, and not by a little. She is wonderfully cast as the underdog Anna.  She is awkward, inward, reserved, and really believable.  Her casting is smart because you will watch the movie and not some A-list star.  Dornan is insanely appealing to the majority of the audience and is well cast as Grey.  But we really don't get to see what he will do with this, as here his role is basically being sullen, dark and heavy.  He is the same in about every scene. But as this trilogy rolls along, there will be more to this performance.

One of the real problems here too is this has a tendency to drag terribly at times.  There is not a great deal of difference from scene to scene and is frankly boring in spots.  But my gut feeling is that many are simply not going to care about that. They are there to see Anna fall in love with this rich beyond belief handsome guy, and to see where all of this really goes.  There will also be a curiosity to for many to see if it stacks up well with the books, and my gut says most will say no to that.

50 Shades Of Grey.  A big swing, and in the end not a miss, but not a home run either. More like a inconsequential single to left field. 


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Read 2578 times Last modified on Friday, 13 February 2015 11:12