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I will be mentioning in this review a few scenes that may spoil any surprises you might experience from watching the movie. If you don’t want to have the movie spoiled for you than stop reading here.
Before I continue with my review I must admit I have never read the books. However, I have read enough reviews online and spoken with enough people who have read the books to know that it is a horribly written book. Believe me, I know I am not the best writer but from the segments I have read from fifty shades, it reads as if it was written via text using two broken thumbs.
With that said, the main problem with the movie comes back to the writing. It’s not the director, actors or even the lighting guy’s fault that the movie is laughable when trying to be serious right before an intense love scene. Nobody can overcome bad writing. Some of the things said by Christian Grey had probably been taken out of a bad 1970s porno by EL James. I found myself continuously laughing or rolling my eyes in disbelief right when things were supposed to be at their most serious. Some of the dialogue is just truly painful to sit through, that is if it were to be taken seriously.
If you start with a bad foundation (i.e. the writing) you are going to have a hard time building upon that. Which is why most movies are based off of award winning books, where the basis of the story is solid and the language is believable. So you have to keep this in mind when watching the Fifty Shades movie.
Thankfully Some Concepts Of The Book Are Missing
One thing I did notice is that many of the abusive scenarios that have been described in the book mysteriously – and happily – do not appear in the movie. Some examples I understand from online sources to be in the book include:
1) Christian becomes mad when Anastasia is upset after a certain act is performed and refuses to comfort her.
2) He uses alcohol to sway her consent.
3) Anastasia uses her safe word and Christian ignores it and continues his actions.
4) Christian becomes angry so quickly and easily that Anastasia hides things from him in fear of what he may do.
All of these are abusive acts and none of these acts appear in the movie. Yes, Christian does get angry and jealous in the movie, but it only seems to be for a few seconds, thus greatly reducing the way he acts in the books. It’s as though the people associated with the film knew how abusive the book actually is and tried to create something a lot less offensive. They seem to focus more on the fact that Christian doesn’t do romance and doesn’t like being touched as a sign of his problems instead of the abuse he inflicts upon others.
Despite these improvements, nothing can overcome the bad writing nor the basic concept of the book that “everybody involved in BDSM is psychologically messed up“. Either they are a pedophile rapist like the woman that introduced Christian Grey to BDSM or they are rape victims who come from a broken past with a crack addict prostitute of a mother like Christian.
I won’t ruin the ending, except to say that it is disturbing but apparently that is the way it is in the book and leads into the second book/movie. Hence why Christian is “fifty shades of fucked up.”
The Movie Is Not All Bad…
There are some shinning light and moments within the movie. The business or Dom/sub contract negotiation scene between Anastasia and Christian is the best part of the entire movie. Even though I have never seen or heard of anybody ever creating a 20 page Dom/sub contract, the movie does a great job in showing one key fact: Anastasia actually dictates and determines the basis of the relationship. She is the one who has the power and is in control of what or if this relationship happens.
I’m sure few people outside of the BDSM lifestyle will be able to see the strength and power of Anastasia during that scene, because through the entire movie before and after that scene Anastasia is so meek (again another misconception of BDSM). That one scene is a beautiful example of the strength, power and choice a submissive has in their life and relationship.
The red room is amazing! Actually, very few people in the BDSM lifestyle have a room like Christian Grey’s (another BDSM misconception). However, how many 23 year old billionaires are there in this world and of those billionaires how many are into BDSM. You just have to go with it.
The gear in the red room is gorgeous and beautifully displayed. They didn’t use any of the crappy cheap Fifty Shades of Grey merchandise you can find in most sex shops. They used actual gear that a self respecting Dominant would use. Just the sight of such gear makes you anticipate how they will be using them in the movie.
Well don’t get your hopes up. Most of the BDSM scenes are just simple bondage ties with the rope Christian purchases from Anastasia at the beginning of the movie. Which is a shame with all the gear that he has on display. Nevertheless, I can see how they wanted to keep the scenes light as most of the people watching the movie are not into BDSM and you don’t want to have people running out of the theater. Also, in the movie Christian slowly introduces Anastasia into BDSM at a pace she is comfortable with, so using the scariest piece of equipment might not be overly realisitic. These are both pluses in my books for introducing BDSM to people who are not comfortable with it.
There is also a scene where Christian uses a crop and smacks Anastasia’s hand. When he asks her if it hurt, she replies surprisingly “no.” He then goes on to explain how much of what he does is not painful, but its the fear of pain that creates that idea.
Another great aspect of the movie is that you see Christian tearing open a condom package before having sex with Anastasia in every sex scene. Something I hope more movies will take notice of and incorporate into their scenes. In fact, I thought it actually added to the intensity of the scene as Christian tore into the package with his teeth, so he could be with Anastasia.
Should You Go See It
I will leave that decision up to you. I will say that if you loved the twilight movies, you will probably enjoy this movie as it’s basically the same concept – forbidden or dangerous love and lust. You can’t go into this movie expecting it to be a future Oscar winner or even one of the best movies of the year. You also can’t go in expecting an amazing example of the BDSM lifestyle.
You have to go in expecting a 1970s porn with a higher budget, which is written and created by people who have never seen or been in any kind of BDSM scenario. Once you understand that you can watch the movie for what it is; cheap fantasy entertainment. That is just my opinion, If you have seen the movie or read the books, please share your reviews below. Let everybody know what you thought. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.