Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Movie Review: 50 Shades Of Grey Should Have Been Rated 21+ Not 18+

Should you or not watch 'Fifty Shades of grey'? 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.
Movie Info
Rating: R (for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language)
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 frenzy.

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

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 crescendo.

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 of this.

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
Review by  Moji Delano


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