What would a Twilight fan fiction with a multi-million dollar budget look like?
E.L. James took a fever dream of a concept and turned it into one of the biggest erotic fantasies of the decade. Naturally, the novel’s popularity has spawned a film adaptation.
Fifty Shades of Grey is exactly what its makers said it was going to be. The film has very few surprises, a thin plot, and tiresome sex scenes.
The film’s controversial subject matter is what is most troubling. Said to be a feminist film, the point of view is actually incredibly sexist. Ana Steele (Dakota Johnson) is completely naked for a whopping third of the film, while Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) is only shirtless. Finally, Grey does some deplorable things that are incredibly offensive to women. It is despicable to watch, and it makes the overall message of the film unclear.
At the same time, the film is mildly entertaining in its idiocy. The crew obviously worked incredibly hard to get the details of the film perfect for die-hard fans. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson was said to have seen the film at least a hundred times before she felt it was the best it could be, which is surely a testament to her discipline as a filmmaker.
Dakota Johnson is the biggest surprise, bringing a hilariously awkward girl who actually had some depth despite the thin writing. Unfortunately, her counterpart Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) does a not so stellar job of hiding his Irish accent. Although it may be argued that the character himself is emotionless, his performance is too stiff.
The soundtrack to the film is the biggest highlight. It far surpasses the actual film in sex appeal, style, and excitement. With modern hits as well as rejuvinated classics from the past, the soundtrack elevates the film.
Overall, Fifty Shades of Grey is a film that attempts to arouse, but ends up coming across as flaccid.