Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey

In Theatres: 
Aug 01, 2014
Social Media Thirst

After its premiere on July 24, 2014, the first trailer for the film became the most viewed trailer of 2014 after it gained over 100 million views in just over a week!

Grey, an anglicized way to spell “gray”, is defined by Google as:

2. dull and nondescript; without interest or character.: "gray, faceless men" "the gray daily routine". synonyms: characterless , colorless , nondescript , insipid , jejune , unremarkable , flat , bland , dry , stale . antonyms: lively .


OMG, has Google seen this movie?

For all of the pulse racing anticipation, the amount of nudity, well deserved R rating, whips, chains, and hanging things, Fifty Shades does nothing to escape the definition above. In fact, this definition seems to have been the direction chosen and reads more like a summary. You may or may not know that Fifty Shades began as a Twilight fanfiction. Although the previous franchise was often called “abstinence romance”, it gathers far more steam than its decedent.


Dakota Johnson does her best portraying Anastasia Steele. She is soft spoken, passive, and mousey. Johnson breathes more into Anastasia making her witty, charming, likeable, and relatable. Anastasia seems more meek than necessarily doormat.


Jamie Dornan simmered as the seductive killer in The Fall. If his casting was based off that performance makes perfect sense. He can portray someone who seeks control of others through fear and sexual prowess; scary and alluring. However, under Sam Taylor-Johnson's direction Dornan’s Grey is slate.  The menace remains, but he is less than cold or standoffish; he is empty.


In Twilight, the audience is told that Edward is attracted to Bella’s incredible freesia scented self and is repulsed by his desire to kill her because of it. However, we aren’t given any hint as what attracts Christian to Anastasia other than she bites her lip. Outside of the BDSM themed contract he wants her to sign, they never have a conversation about anything real. Annastasia is a senior in college who had zero sexual experiences. How/why this is never gets discussed. Anastasia tries to get to know Christan, but her probes are met with silence. This leads to far too many repetitious inquires.  


In Twilight Edward stalks Bella, pushes and pulls her, damages her car, crosses boundaries without consent, etc... When this is all put in context of Edward being a vampire, a predator, these behaviors (creepy as they are) make sense.  However, when you take those behaviors layer them onto a billionaire human, there is nothing left but the creeping danger; a human predator.


Christian, after meeting Annastasia only once, seeks out her out while she is working at a hardware store in a completely different city. He questions the relationship status of every man he sees interacting with her. He sends extremely mixed signals telling her how dangerous he is (why? how? no clue), then sending her expensive gifts. When she drunk dials him, he races to the bar where she is to save her from…..something? He attempts to contract her into eating a certain way and even into taking the oral birth control of his choosing!


With the ever present menace and Christian's consuming need to control Annastasia, I kept expecting the movie to turn into The Boy Next Door or American Psycho at any moment; this not a romance.

I can only guess that Anastasia must smell like pumpkin spice lattes as basic as this entire film is.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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