A review on the controversial adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey.
A reminder before you scroll down that I do not give scores to titles in my reviews due to my belief that games as well as any forms of media are more than a number and instead should be understood in their whole. If you’re looking for otherwise, I’d recommend a cold read of the title.
Look, I’ll try to keep it short because I’m sure everyone’s got more things to do that worry about how this film turned out. Look at the TL;DR at the bottom if you want my gist.
There are actually quite a few things I liked about the film. The minimalist, clean cinematography, the acting on the part of the actors, and the way in which this film speaks to both BDSM culture and patriarchies. I think it’s interesting, at the least.
The negatives quite simply are that the actors can’t make up for the horrible script, lack of plot, and the failure of delivery on all the actually focus of the move: the sex.
What’s this movie about? It’s about a college student who meets a billionaire of a telecommunications firm (Yes, telecommunications) who has to decide if she wants to have sex with him while having sex with him. That’s the main conflict. Do I want to have sex with this guy that I’m having sex with? Well, I’ll just have sex with him while I decide.
By horrible script, I don’t mean that it’s illogical or lacks the right context. It actually succeeds in this aspect. But, the problem is that it’s just so funny. The film is almost borderline non-dramatic and then they pull the most dramatic and cliche lines in the world out and you look at it and say: “Oh, wow. I can’t believe they made him say that.”
I mean seriously. They made him brood by the windowsill and utter the words, “I’m just fifty shades of ****ed up.” What was that? Everyone in the theater laughed.
The movie’s also kind of meta. Like, it’s so funny. She has a pencil she’s basically putting in her mouth with your name on it. The phallic imagery. I see what you did there.
Then the actual sexual parts of the movie are lackluster. Interesting, I’ll say, because they explore the whole BDSM scheme. But, they just aren’t there I’d say. I mean, if this were another movie, I’d say good job. If this is a movie focused on the sex and you don’t deliver a significantly exhilarating experience, you failed. So much sex on the screen and it’s boring. That’s on top of pacing issues as well. I found myself falling asleep at the sometimes too-slow pace.
So was the fact that the movie was funny make it bad? Maybe, if you were going into the movie wanting a seriously and sexual drama. But, otherwise it made the experience worthwhile to me. I went with friends and we ended up talking about the movie the whole hour-car ride home. It was great. I’d recommend it to anyone who isn’t averse to seeing lots of sex on the screen. I wouldn’t watch it again. But, to be honest, I’m actually looking forward to the sequels. Especially since the ending was so… not an ending. It was basically a jump-cut.
TL;DR Movie has great casting and cinematography. Too bad, the movie was written to be a comedy, has some pacing issues, no real ending, and can’t figure out the whole sex part. Oh, and it’s just boring. But really, I’d still recommend it for a funny time laughing at the dialogue with friends. There are so many quotables in this movie and I’m looking forward to the sequels. I probably won’t rewatch this again though.