Should you or not watch ‘Fifty Shades of grey’?…..read on….
If you’re a romantic who grew up reading romance novels like Mills
&Boons, or you’re an ardent reader of romance novels, the chances
are that you’ve read E.L James’ best seller Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) and its sequels Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed (2012).
The book centres around a rich young man Christian Grey, a 27 year old
billionaire based in Seattle USA, who practices bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM),
and has no time for love or ‘vanilla’ relationships like he describes
it. He however meets a naive 21-year-old college senior Anastasia “Ana”
Steele whom he introduces to BDSM and ends up falling in love with. Grey
changes and becomes more flexible in his ways and ends up marrying Anna
he helps him purge some of his demons.
If you have not read the book however, the buzz in the last one year
over it’s screen adaptation may have caught your attention. Described as
one of the most anticipated movies of 2015, the long awaited 50 shades
of Grey movie finally opened at the cinemas’s all around the world on
Friday 13th of February 2015, and Nigerian cinema’s were not left out.
Since the announcement that the book will be made
about a year ago, fans all over the world have been curious as to how
the book which had a lot of graphic descriptions of Christian Grey and
his Girlfriend engaging in adventurous, almost dangerous sexual
activities would be depicted.
Infact, the graphic nature of the book’s
glorification of BDSM earned it a lot of backlash from critics and
conservative folks who described the book as thrashy while others
described it uncouth modern day porn. Against this backdrop, the
curiosity of readers, and even movie lovers around the world was
fuelled, and this resulted in the throngs of people throoping enmasse to
the cinema’s when the movie premiered on Friday the 13th of February
2015, just in time for Valentines day.
Like many Fifty Shades enthusiast I was eager to see how well the book
could be depicted on screen without crossing the line of decency and
made sure to see the movie the day it premiered. Prior to the opening, I
had read many reviews by critics online, and many were not encouraging.
Despite the bad reviews, I was determined to see for myself the screen
adaptation of one of the most captivating modern romance novels I’ve
ever read. I however went with the mind set that screen adaptations of
novels were most times disappointing, and bore in mind the critics
reviews that I had read. Interesting however, I was disappointed but in a good way. I went to the
cinemas thinking the movie would be crap, but I was somewhat impressed
instead. As a result, I decided to write a review of the movie from my
own point of view.
Rating: R (for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language) Genre:Romance Directed By:Sam Taylor-Johnson Written By:Kelly Marcel , E.L. James , Patrick Marber , Mark Bomback Stars: Dakota Johnson(Anastasia Steel), Jamie Dornan(Christian Grey) In Theaters:Feb 13, 2015
Budget: $40,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $94,395,000 (USA) (13 February 2015) Worldwide: $252,000,000 Run time:128 mins. The Movie… The movie starts just like the book, with Anastasia interviewing Grey,
and from there a romance kicks off. The movie started off a little slow
and was not as captivating as the book which leaves you glued from the
beginning to the end. I read the three books in three days! Lol.
Back to the movie, as the plot thickens, and the sex scenes start to
unfold, the movie gets more interesting and captivating. With each sex
scene the actors became more daring and more intimate body parts
revealed to the audience. Trust Nigerians to offer their side comments
and ‘ohhhs and haaaas’ and the ladies didn’t disappoint as Jamie Dornan
entered more into the Christian Grey Character.
Grey and Steel’s relationship blossom in the movie, and they soon go on a
date during which he gives her non disclosure agreement to sign which
she agrees to. He also mentions other paperwork, but first takes her to
his playroom full of BDSM toys and gear where he introduces her to ‘his
world’. There Christian informs her that the second contract will be one
of dominance and submission
and that there will be no romantic relationship, only a sexual one.
Quoting Grey verbatim, he told Anastasia “I don’t make love, I f**k…”
The interesting statement left the viewers in the cinema hall in a
As Grey surprises Anastasia with gifts and the level of his wealth as
portrayed in the book is unveiled in the course of the movie, the film
get’s even more interesting. Grey gifts Anna a new laptop(a mac) to help
research BDSM, a first edition copy of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and a
beautiful car for her graduation. In the course of the movie Anastasia
grows from a the naive 21 year old virgin into a soft, yet edgy and
humorous partner for Grey. Half way into the movie, I had gotten used to
the characters and the nudity in the film was no longer as
uncomfortable as when the first sex scenes were shown.
Talking about nudity, Fifty Shades had it full fledged. I was shocked to
remember the reviews by some authors who said the sex scenes were not
as exciting and they expected more. Yes I agree that the book was more
descriptive and alluring but calling a spade a spade, depicting the book
almost as it was would have seen the movie turning into glorified porn.
As the movie is, Johnson was shown many times naked-full frontal.
Infact in one sex scene where Dornan is seen ‘going down’ on Johnson, I
couldn’t believe my eyes in terms of how much we were been shown. It was
somewhat uncomfortable even for adults…lol.
I also felt sorry for Johnson, because as an actress, it must have been
very difficult to have been naked so often and very awkward shooting
daring sex scenes with hundreds of crew members on set. All together,
the sex scenes cumulate to about 20 minutes and I learnt that Dakota
barely used a body double except in few scenes.
Overall, the producers tried in portraying the sex scenes illustrated in
the book. Anything more than what was shown in the screen adaptation
would have crossed the line and turned the movie into porn.
As for BDSM which the book is centred around, it was well downplayed in
the movie and not as intense as the book described. In a couple of
scenes, we are taken into Christian Greys ‘Red Room of Pain’ and
shown his BDSM ‘tools’. However, unlike the book, we weren’t really
shown how Christian used these tools on Anna. Perhaps we will see more
of that in the second part, perhaps not.
Ha! I let the cat out the bag. Yes theres a 2nd part, and likely a 3rd part as well.
Before seeing the movie I had wondered how the producers would manage to
put three books in a two hour movie, as there was no indications that
the movie has been broken into parts. About two hours into the movie, it
was obvious viewers had started to understand and like the characters,
and really get into the movie with no end to the movie in sight. The
plot had thickened with Christian showing Anastasia how sadistic he
could get using BDSM as an avenue to release tension and anger. As a
result, Anastasia became very angry and upset and leaves his apartment
in the last scene with the two lovers calling out each others names, and
the elevator taking Anastatia downstairs closing.
The screen goes then goes black, suddenly.
In reaction, people in movie hall erupted into exclamations of
disappointment as there was no warning that the movie will end in such a
My Major Disappointment
As a 50 shades enthusiast, one of my best parts of the book was the
email exchange between the two lovers Anastasia and Christian. EL James
managed to infuse wittiness, sarcasm, and use of good vocabs in their
short emails with interesting subjects, and that was visibly omitted in
the movie. Yes they showed us some email exchanges but it was nothing
compared to the hilarious ones in book.
I found it very disappointing because this could have easily been
infused and it would have gone a long way to improve the overall quality
of the movie. Perhaps in the 2nd part of the movie, we would see more
Overall, If you’re objective and won’t take offence to the gross nudity
and sex which the movie centres around, 50 shades of grey is nice to
watch. Just don’t expect to see a movie as captivating as the book was.
If you do, you’re sure to be disappointed.
Lest I forget, the movie is for a very mature audience. In my opinion, it should be rated 21, lool.
Rating it, I’d give score the movie 6.5/10. Watch the trailer HERE