By Lara Talib
Summit Staff Writer
The highly anticipated book-turned-movie “Fifty Shades of Grey,” starring Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as the ever-so intriguing Christian Grey, came out on Valentine’s Day weekend. Fans of this book have been waiting for this movie for quite some time, considering the book came out in 2011. Finally the wait is over, and Christian can seduce all of us through the big screen as well.
The book follows Anastasia Steele, an inexperienced literature student who gets entangled in the web of Christian Grey, who is a very charming, very beautiful, very erotic man. Anastasia cannot help but become quickly seduced by Christian when she interviews him for the school newspaper, and Christian also becomes quickly enthralled with this mysterious girl. But, like most men, Christian comes with baggage, a mysterious past and a very strange fetish for BDSM. Most logical women who aren’t trapped by Christian’s looks and success would run for the hills, and fast, but Anastasia doesn’t. She agrees to become his sex slave, even though she knows deep down nothing good can come of it.
The book gets very sexual, and very fast. The very first sex scene came within the first 10 chapters. Although captivating, it was too erotic for my—and plenty of others’—tastes. As many fans may know, the ever-so-famous tampon scene between Christian and Anastasia has been cut out of the movie. In an interview with Variety, Director Sam Taylor-Johnson said it “was never even discussed as being a part of the movie and was never going to be shot.”
The movie was supposed to have both an NC-17 (no one under 18 allowed even with an adult) version and a R-rated (no one under 17 allowed without an adult) version was supposed to be released as well, but because of budget issues, that idea was quickly thrown out the window. The final rating from the MPAA is R-rated for “strong sexual content, including unusual behavior, dialogue and graphic nudity and language.” The number-one thing people are most concerned about is just how sexual the movie actually is. It’s estimated that the movie has 20 total minutes of sex scenes, which is about a fifth of the movie.
50 Shades Promotional Movie Poster
Courtesy of: www.imdb.com/
When it came down to it, the movie was pretty horrible. The acting was subpar, and there was close to no chemistry between Anastasia and Christian. The sex scenes were awkward to watch; the director did an amazing job at portraying Christian as someone he totally is not in the book, and emphasizing Anastasia’s awkwardness. Throughout the entire movie, Christian said several things he never would have said in the book, and although he did say, “I’m fifty shades of f-ed up” in the book, the placement of this part in the movie had more people snickering than actually feeling sorry for him.
Viewers don’t really get the chance to hear Christian’s back story on why he is the way he is because the movie is primarily focused on Anastasia, so it makes it seem like Christian is just this horrible guy and Anastasia is just this dumb girl who is in complete lust. Grossmont student, Alyssa Hynic said: “I don’t want to watch it because it got horrible reviews, and it sort of supports sexual abuse.”
The sex scenes throughout the movie were short enough to the point where it didn’t seem like viewers were watching a porno, so it definitely shouldn’t be considered erotica. On the other hand, the few scenes in which Christian is “punishing” Anastasia were really hard to watch for some viewers. There were definitely a few people cringing at the idea of being punished at the hands of Christian Grey.
Critics of the book’s main problem was that “Fifty Shades of Grey” was on the verge of being very abusive, and didn’t show off a healthy sexual relationship between two people. Christian made Anastasia, and all the other women he had relations with, sign an agreement between the two stating in full detail what was expected of both parties—not limited to bondage, whippings, and making sure that Christian was referred to as either, “Mr. Grey” or “Sir.” The movie did a good job of keeping the sex scenes, although plentiful, pretty short.
The audience sees Anastasia’s full body naked, but not Christian’s—just his butt and his abs, but never his frontal area. The book itself didn’t show off a healthy relationship between two people, but seeing it first hand on the big screen definitely added to that notion. Grossmont student Ranier Martinez said: “I wouldn’t have even watched the movie if I didn’t read the books, it (the book) was such a let down.”
Overall, the book was okay, and the movie was not. Critics on IMDb.com gave it four out of 10 stars, which is totally justifiable. The only good thing about the movie was the soundtrack and Jamie Dornan. The only good thing about the book was the cute relationship between Anastasia and her best friend Kate. More people are probably watching the movie because they read the books and are curious. Either way, people are still watching it, even with the horrible reviews. According to theguardian.com, “Fifty Shades of Grey” has surpassed “Avatar” with $248 million just on its opening weekend.