DIRECTOR: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Wow. My expectations were low, but still encouraged by the behind the scene stories that the script and direction had improved upon the E L James source novel, one which I must admit, I have not read but heard plenty about.
But all I can say is how bad must that novel have been if THIS is better? The casting choice of Grey is clearly wrong, not that Jamie Dornan is the wrong type for the role, because physically he is fine, but he has no acting chops and fails to embody the characters complexity. Dakota Johnson on the other hand, is fine.
Ironically, the film suffers from its high production values, glossy sets and costumes, as well as being presented as a major motion picture. But the screenplay is everything but, just being one notch above a third rate porno! The character development is bizarre, with strange and unjustifiable choices being made throughout, with little attention given to their motivations.
So, this is clearly a glorified sex film, right? WRONG.
With few sex scenes, most of which would qualify for a normal romance and given the film a rating of 12 if the tone was dialled down a notch, this film offers nothing to its audience, with sex scenes so boring and unimaginative that I was literally falling asleep!
So, with horrendously hammy action, set-ups, dialogue and boringly pointless sex scenes which hardly push any boundaries whatsoever, I fail to see what all the fuss was about.
In my opinion, this film is talking to prudes, prudes who are trying to move in to the 21st century’s sexual awareness. Not women or men who have had long term sexual relationships or marriages. It has a teenage level of understanding of sex and the film presents it in this way, presuming that adult couples only have sex in one position, once a month by the sounds of it.
To me, Fifty Shades Of Grey should have been adapted by a director and writer who have experience of exploitation film making, or psychological thrillers perhaps? A decision should have been made as whether this was going to have little sex but plenty of character or sex upon sex and be a depraved sexual exploitation film which would not only shock today, but become a classic of tomorrow.
But what we have here is neither. A weird interpretation of sexual fetishes, which plays into the misconception that a fetish is a deviation rather than a preference to be shared. In states that it is a positive experience several times but this film does not believe it.
It is like attending someone’s first Ann Summers Party with drunken laughter to conceal the embarrassment of opening up sexually to themselves and other women. Realising that both men and women like sex and feeling free to talk about it.
The potential of this film was astronomical, but first they needed to dump E. L. James, most of her novel, any of her script notes and take the concept and write a new story and make a firm decision as to whether it is a sexual exploitation movie in the vein of 70’s classics such as Caligula, or a serious physiological thriller, maybe more in the vein of last year’s Lost Girl (David Fintcher).
But this film as it is, jumps from either embarrassingly hilarious, creditworthy and boring. Either way, I would avoid this monstrosity.