The world has gone crazy for 50 Shades of Grey. Whether you love it or hate it everyone seems to have an opinion on it. Now the craze is at fever pitch following the release of the movie version by director Sam Taylor-Johnson. But was it worth the wait to the big screen or just an anti-climax?
When college graduate Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) interviews the handsome, wealthy, businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) there is an immediate attraction. However Christian is not one for a conventional relationship and prefers to be in a dominant/submissive relationship. Despite both their misgivings Ana and Christian cannot stay away from each other and have passionate sex together, but can they be together if Christian is so intent on not having a normal relationship?
I read the first 50 Shades book when it came out and while it was an easy enough read to pass the time I did not continue reading the trilogy due to the annoying characters and the bad writing of the novels. I was interested in how the book would be made into a film considering it’s just Twilight fan fiction with added sex (and less sparkly vampires). In my opinion Sam Taylor-Johnson has done the best she could with the source material. Yes she has cut down the sex scenes which has annoyed the author E.L James as well as some fans but that doesn’t really come as a surprise. If you’re hiring a serious and accomplished director like Taylor-Johnson she wasn’t going to made a porn movie, and besides the film was long enough as it is without any more sex scenes added to it.
Considering how much I hated both the characters in the book I was surprised at how much they didn’t bother me in the film. This is partly due to the script which wisely cuts out Ana’s inner monologues with any mention of her inner goddess completely vanished, and they’ve reduced the amount of times Christian calls Ana ‘baby’ which was endlessly creepy and unsexy even if it was meant ironically. His stalker tendencies are also played down which is a relief as this annoyed me no end in the book (stalking is not sexy people!). The casting has also been a big help. Dakota Johnson managed the impossible in making whiney, weak Ana into an actual likeable person. She’s the best thing in this movie and they were lucky to find her. Dornan looks good and plays a damaged character well but he was better as a serial killer in the BBC drama The Fall. The two actors have just enough chemistry to keep you watching the movie.
Still this was never going to be the most critically acclaimed movie of the year and 50 Shades has its issues. It isn’t the best plot in the world. It’s a bit boring in places, and the film feels repetitive. And Christian still seems creepy and obsessive even if he is played by the lovely Jamie Dornan. After it was over I couldn’t say I’m in any rush to see the next movie.
Rating 3/5 – it won’t please everyone, but an accomplished director and likeable cast prevents this movie from being a disaster