Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 American erotic romantic drama film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson with a screenplay by Kelly Marcel. The film is based off the novel of the same name written by E. L. James. The film stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. The story follows Anastasia Steele, a college graduate that comes in contact with a billionaire named Christian Grey. For some reason, his character becomes drawn to her and a relationship begins. The kicker that makes the film different from the rest of romantic films is the sadomasochistic behavior he introduces her to.
When I was first thinking about what I wanted to say about this film, I wanted to be certain that I didn't completely rip apart the relationship between them. I felt like it had been done all to hell and I didn't want to sound like a broken record for those that have heard it a billion times already. I have to say something though, because it is completely detrimental to the film itself. Christian Grey is an asshole. Maybe he's meant to be. The film suggests that once or twice. But it also tries to justify him at some instances. And you can't. He's an asshole. This isn't about sadomasochism or their sexual encounters, which, if consensual is neither nor there, but about how he behaves throughout it. His character is deplorable and the dynamic of their romantic relationship suffers as a result. I couldn't root for them to stay together, and because how annoyed I was with the character, I couldn't find myself even caring if Anastasia left him. I didn't care about what was happening or the characters because I never felt a reason to like them.
The film itself isn't well-made at all either beyond that. If the characters weren't enough to drag the film down, it's everything else that surely putting the final nail in the coffin. The dialogue has to be some of the most sloppily written stuff there is, and it's done to almost a blatant extent. It feels laughable more than anything and nothing can save it. For what it's worth, Jamie Dornan does decently in his role as Christian Grey, but it's a decent performance at a mediocre character, meanwhile, Dakota Johnson's performance is ultimately what holds this film to even the slightest bit of functionality. She isn't necessarily terrific, but I liked her enough to wish that I never would have to see her in this film.
There's a chance that capable acting and functioning dialogue wasn't necessarily what brought the film to the table, and there's also a chance that the character's themselves aren't what mattered. The film's main appeal was the intrigue and the taboo nature behind it. The funny thing about that is, Fifty Shades doesn't really push the envelope. There's nothing in this film that hasn't been seen a million times before. In-fact, considering it only shows a topless Dakota Johnson, I would go as far as calling it tame. I suppose it can be argued that it's the subject matter itself that is taboo, but that doesn't really come across that harsh or groundbreaking either. There's nothing shocking or out-of-the-ordinary about it. Frankly, it's a generic daytime soap opera that just so happens to have an over-dramatic male character (which is like other daytime soap operas) who likes hurting his girlfriend for sexual thrill. The reason I am mentioning this is because there's a demographic out-there that only wanted to watch this film for far-out nudity or something completely outside the realm of the average Hollywood film, and it really isn't. Go watch Nymphomaniac or something if you want to be caught off-guard.
I'll be honest with you. A lot of me expecting for Fifty Shades of Grey to be bad. But I never expected it would be this bad of a film. I have spent my money on some terrible films in theaters, stuff like Are We Done Yet?, Mortal Instruments, Annabelle, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Insidious: Chapter Two, but none of it matches how much I disliked this one. I feel like the entire film was an endless loop of the same tedious scenes over and over again, and all I wanted to do was have it end.
If you wanted to watch this film for any reason, any reason at all, just don't, because it won't offer it. Unless you're wanting to see a terrible film, if so, I recommend it.
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Rating: Very Bad