Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

 

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Well, this is not a movie review that I thought I would do when I started this site. But, with Mardi Gras day parades having been rescheduled in my town, I had a day off of work with nothing to do. So I took my wife to see the movie that she had been waiting for. After all, she will sit through most horror movies with me when I want to see them.

I went into the theater expecting Fifty Shades of Grey to be just like one of those late night Cinemax soft core flicks. And, well, it kind of was just with a much better story. And none of that jazzy porn music. I actually like it a lot better than what I thought I would. It was filmed well, the acting was good, and it had its laughs. The one problem I had with it was its length. For a movie revolving around a dominant/submissive relationship, it could have been a little shorter than 2 hours and 5 minutes. But maybe that is just me having a hard time sitting down that long in a theater.

The movie, based on the E. L. James novel of the same name, tells the story of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and her chance meeting, and relationship, with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Anastasia, or Ana, is a young, soon-to-be college graduate who fills in for her sick friend Kate’s (Eloise Mumford) interview with young business mogul Christian Grey.

Grey finds Ana interesting and keeps in contact with her afterward. Just when she thinks that things are going good, he pulls himself away from her. But soon he finds that he can’t stay away from her for too long. However, he must reveal to her that he is a dominant and wants her to be his submissive in this relationship.

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This, of course, means that the “normal” relationship that she was looking for is not really an option. He has a contract drawn up with different aspects listed that she can accept or object to. Still confused, the movie continues with Ana trying to make her decision until the movie’s climax (pun intended). The movie ends, but nothing is certain as it is just setting up for the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker.

Overall, Fifty Shades of Grey is not as bad as I was expecting. My wife walked away a little more bummed out because of the differences from the book, but I thought it was fine. From what I understand, the books may have been a little too graphic for the moviegoing public. I don’t know what she was expecting as I haven’t read the books but it was about as sexually explicit as I think a movie could be. Unless it is one of those above-mentioned Cinemax flicks.

The performances in the movie by Dornan and Johnson were also very good. Dakota Johnson, daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, obviously has acting in her blood and it shows with her performance of the timid yet curious Ana. Jamie Dornan is a relatively unknown Irish actor that will probably get more roles, and deservedly so, with his portrayal of the charming but tormented Mr. Grey.

I am curious how the entire story plays out, but I will just wait until all of the movies are released. I don’t think I could sit down and read all three of the novels. And even if I did, I’m sure my friends would never let me live it down. It will be much easier to wait for each film to come out. I’m sure that I will see them all just like I had to see all of the Twilight films. And a few other romantic comedies. Wow, I really need to go watch Die Hard or something manly now!

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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