After an outpour of bad reviews urging you to not spend your money on Fifty Shades, I walked into a local theater that I always wanted to visit with hesitation and an overwhelming sense of fear that only one of two things would happen while watching this movie: I would either be bored out of my skull for the next 125 minutes or painfully aware of how single I really am. Neither possibilities made my heart race.
"Don't be negative," My friend Ciera urged. "Critics are wrong sometimes."
The first 15 minutes of the film proved Ciera right. The critics were wrong. Nevertheless, I would like to thank them for setting my expectations so low that there was nowhere else for them to go except higher.
I hate long reviews so let's get to the heart of this review now, I would give this movie three out of four Worthy-approved badges.
Dakota Johnson who is also Melanie Griffith's daughter, for some reason that just wins her all the cool points in my book, did an amazing job with the role and played Anastastia in a manner that was refreshing compared to the book's original text. She was not just this confused virgin controlled by her sexual desires for Christian, played by Jamie Dornan, and summarily almost willing to do anything to be with him and please him. In the film, Anastasia is witty, very funny and assertive.
Favorite Scene: Without revealing all, I would have to say that the scene that really won me over was the negotiaition scene in the film. Filled with formal professional banter, laced with legal jargon and subtle sexual innuendoes pair very well with Grey's direct approach to negotiating. The reader in me was very grateful for the scene. It turned what could've easily been the most difficult part to sell in the film into a moment of overwhelming cuteness and comedy on Ana's part.
Least Favorite thing about the film: This film lost the battle that all films based off novels tend to face. Admittedly, I feel like it is a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" kind of situation to have. Adopting the dialogue from the book or crafting a new dialogue is always a tough choice and there are always casualties of such choices. Fans either hate it or love and everyone can't be pleased. In the case of Christian, they adopted the dialogue from the book and it doesn't go over easily. My mom, BSAMS, reads my blog. So I will need you to work with me here. Some of Christian's famous lines are not effortlessly delivered. Never-the-less, the onscreen Christian does his best with the dialogue that he has been given and I will say that the pair together visually does not disaapoint.
The Sex Scenes: I was really worried about this part. Would it be enough? Would it be too much? Reviews accused the film of not having a lot of sex in it. Others boldly stated that you could get more action watching a Cinemax late night film. As someone who has read the series, I will say this much. The first book focuses on the negotiation of the contract between Ana and Christian. This is not supposed to be a Cinemax late night film, folks. The scenes are tastefully executed. They downplay Christan's dark side and I really appreciate it. The reader in me feels like the scenes are delivered just the way I imagined them sans a few swift slaps from Christian and that creepy talk about owning her. I just like to eliminate a few of those exchanges from my mind when I am reading the book. The film walked a fine line of what to bring to the big screen and what not to. In the end, you are able to sympathize with Christian and you are happy with the scenes- atleast I was. I would recommend going to see this film.
The verdict is still out on whether I even want to touch the on-going debate about the value system of this film. I will hopefully know by next week.
I hope the review was helpful!