I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
This is a pointless review. More pointless than the ones I have previously written. Not only have thousands of more influential and better critics given their two cents on whether or not this movie is worth seeing or not, but if you were going to watch this movie, chances are my opinion won’t change your mind. Nonetheless, duty calls.
Fifty Shades of Grey is the story of an everyday, boring woman who begins a sexual relationship with an equally boring vitruvian billionaire, who happens to be into some kinky stuff.
People are up in arms about this movie. Does it put across an unhealthy image of BDSM couples? Does it belittle women? Does it encourage intrarelationship abuse? These questions have no real answers. One person’s sexism is another’s feminism. Critics walked out of initial screenings of The Wolf of Wall Street partly for its portrayal of women and yet I read an excellent article by a female critic explaining why she saw the film as feminist.
There are real issues in Hollywood and beyond with the treatment of women. You can find some great pieces online which supports this point.
I’ll see if I can answer the aforementioned questions. But really who cares what my beliefs on those issues are, when I’m reviewing a film that is absolutely dreadful!
I have said that the main character in this movie is boring. I mean it. I cared nothing for this woman. She is stupidly shy at the beginning and comes across as whiny in the second half. And she never stops biting her lip!
Mr Grey of the title is also tedious. This is every woman’s dream (apparently). A man who has power, money, a cracking body and yet has something missing… you.
The writing is atrocious. So many double-entendres (almost as bad as Poison Ivy in Batman and Robin), completely unrealistic scenarios and characters. I have not read the worldwide bestseller on which this movie is based, but so many people have told me that it is written as if it basically the author’s sexual fantasies.
Now this is fine. Guys have had their way with their pornographically perfect versions of female characters before (see any film by Michael Bay or Frank Miller for confirmation), so maybe it’s time to flip the tables.
Speaking of porn, let’s talk about the reason you’re still reading this review. You want to hear about the sex.
Like the rest of the film, these scenes are well shot. On balance this is the most interesting stuff in the entire picture and what made the book so popular from word of mouth. Sex is a natural act which conveys strong human drama and therefore, when used artistically, I have no problem with it whatsoever.
However, there is an incredible amount of double-standards here. There’s no shortage of shots of the protagonist’s breasts and Mr Grey’s well toned chest, but barely anything of each other’s genitals. Also, these scenes are not erotic in the slightest.
This film could work in one of two ways. A tragic story about the rise and fall of a relationship, due to the lack of emotional connection, a satire on control struggles between men and women. Or porn. Instead it tries to pull of the romantic date movie while going a little bit into the first and really not enough into the latter.
The ending tried to save some dignity for the whole project. But I was already bored to tears.
Two things I can say are good in the film. The soundtrack has popular songs done in a sexual cadence and they’re pretty good. Also, like I said, it’s pretty well shot. But this isn’t exactly a film school in itself like many great movies.
Yet who knows. Maybe I’m behind the times. Many didn’t like Stanley Kubrick’s sex-filled odysseys A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut at first, but now they’re classics. Maybe we’re all missing some important message. And if you see something, more power to you.
Until then, this is a boring mess which I found insulting, not so much to my feminist sensibilities (though they felt twisted) but to my ears, eyes and watch.
Despite this, people (particularly women) will see it in their millions (Cineworld was packed). All expecting something they’re not going to get.
Recommended Scenario: To prove I’m not a sex-hating prude, I’ll recommend an engaging and great film that has some properly erotic sex scenes. Mulholland Drive. You may not like it, but it beats this film no matter who you are. What wasted potential.
If what I have written tells you that you would like this film, you can book tickets to see it at your local Cineworld here.