Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, Staring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. When a literature student is asked to step in for her ill friend, she meets Mr Grey and her life changes forever.
Based on the book by the same title which in turn is based on Twilight fan fiction, the chances of this book becoming a success should have been small. However it has now sold over 100 million copies, with the newly released film breaking February records for it’s debut and with the news that preceded the release date that it has received the green light for the next two books to be adapted. It is clear this is something of a raving success despite the subject material.
Though this film has many problems, considering the material in question, Sam Taylor-Johnson does a commendable job to try and shift the guilty pleasure of the nation and internationally into a film that has to appeal to both sex’s in order to make this endeavour a financial success. Though this book series is regarded as a joke, it will become a social curiosity to go witness the two and half hour long film of frustration, bewilderment and tediousness towards the end.
I have read the first book, as it was on sale for 50p I thought I would try and speed read through it, the poorly formed grammar alone nearly forced my hands to close it.
There are some positive aspects however, Jamie Dorman ( Christian Grey) encapsulates the intense stare and domination required by his character. Despite his very interchanging accent between Irish and American, which is very distracting, it did occur to me when leaving the cinema what seemed so familiar about Mr Greys’ character. Then it hit me, It took a man who normally plays a serial killer in ‘The Fall’ an intense dark tv series to be able to reach the level of utter creepiness of Mr Grey.
Dakota Johnson who you may have seen briefly in films such as, ‘The Social Network’ and ‘Need for Speed’ does play this role well, though I cannot help feel for her character when placed in a mainstream hollywood film. After an hour of progressive narrative and progressively creepy dialogue from Mr Grey, she is then stripped naked at every available moment and very little is not shown of her. Though this is in line with the books, on the other side of the table Mr Grey is continually given shots that hide various private areas and even when shown it is very brief and not as obvious as hers. Now this is not to say I have a huge desire to see Jamie Dornan in all his glory, but for the sake of continuity and variety due to main stream Hollywood it is perfectly acceptable to show breasts and vagina but not for the man to show his penis. What creates even more of a frustration is that both male and female nudity is an accepted feature of more Indie films, one example being ‘Shame’ where from the word go we are introduced to Michael Fassbender totally naked. So this type of thing does happen, so I ask you as an audience and reader why, in a film about S&M and where 70% of time Dakota Johnson is naked, can the same cannot be applied to Dornan.
The rest of the film struggles once the hour mark is passed because the books suffer in the same way from having a decent structure of narration. The continual going back and forth between the contract, Johnson’s rejection of signing it, only to be shown more glamour and expensive gifts can only be stretched out for so long.
OVERALL ** Shaky Accents to the side, the dialogue is terrible and the narrative is stretched too far to be acceptable but hardly surprising given the source material, Sam Taylor-Johnson does a superb job considering.
RECOMMENDATION – The only reason to see this film is from the social stand point this will become and as a result of morbid curiosity, otherwise I see no point.