[Photo: Dita Von Teese from her book “Fetish: the Art of the Teese.”]
Ok so I have been meaning to write this review for over a month…
Despite having attempted to read the book and not finishing it because it was so poorly written and in a huff I muttered to myself if Anastasia says “Holy cow” one more time I am going to stop reading this book. A quarter of the way through I did just that! Anyhoooo I would recommend seeing the film and I give it 7/10.
Woah…Wait? Why drop the bomb like that? Well of course you have to see it! Your curiosity is begging you to. It was a huge international bestseller-how could you not?
The film made me squirm out of embarrassment in some scenes and I had to cover my eyes in other parts, but I would see it again, notably only one more time.
In the beginning there is zero chemistry between Jamie Dornan as Mr Grey and Dakota Johnson who plays as we all know Anastasia Steele. It was just plain awkward in the beginning like Miss Steele was this nuisance he wanted to get rid of. Sure Mr Grey is an intimidating force but Jamie fails to play a suave intimidation instead he conveys a negative and annoyed intimidating figure. I was ready to leave the cinema….
But I stuck with it. The first coffee date is again awkward and Dornan does not display any signs of interest in Miss Steele. He is not the strong silent type he just looks bored by Johnson. I was put off at this point. I recall thinking to myself that Dornan should have watched an episode of Buffy and if he bothered to even mimic Angel’s broody mysterious silence brilliantly mastered by David Boreanaz off the hit show; he’d have done justice to Mr Grey.
As for Johnson she has the sort of bookish librarian prettiness that fits the role but she did not have the appeal of a good girl ready to do bad. There was no cuteness nor sexiness in her manner just an awkward teenager with occasional bursts of defiance against Christian.
I suppose what kept me in my cinema seat was the magnificent pad of Mr Grey and there are some sure-fire cinematic scenes particularly when they’re up in the air on Mr Grey’s helicopter or plane. Also I had only read the first quarter of the book so was curious how to see the first story of this trilogy would pan out on film.
A Love story this is not. I do not deem this a romance at all. Whilst watching the film I felt it was just an abusive dynamic. My interest in the film was comparable to watching a chilling and terrifying documentary, something you would never expose yourself to in real life but curiosity brings out the voyeur in you to watch it unfold.
If anything watching this film made me see how much of a romantic I really I am. I could feel a creeping dialogue in my own mind of how I’d ditch that son of a gun Grey. The all too familiar commitment-phobe of a male is made manifest in it’s harshest and most twisted manner via Grey. He does not ‘do dates,’ he does not hold hands he just wants to inflict physical force on you.
The slaps, the whipping…Or is it flogging? I nervously covered my hands to my face when it came on. Oh it was awful! There was not too much of it for those of you seasoned in those methods of pleasure/pain. Being the hopeless romantic that I am it was all too much and unbearable to watch.
As attractive as Dornan is I did not leave the cinema wanting more of him. Sheer curiosity is what compels me to want to watch the following adaptations but I would not want to own it on DVD.
Ultimately this story is a fantasy and should not become a reality. I am certainly not stating that BDSM should not exist. I am simply asserting the fact that partners that wish to engage in such activities should not blindly pursue someone so naive, unaware and lacks the organic desire for this ‘type’ of sex.
Romance is perhaps on its deathbed in the 21st century and I just hope other viewers of the film or books do not leave wishing it to be a reality of their own.
“50 Shades of Grey” is something different for sure I just hope it does not become the norm for romances to come…
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