Adaptation fails to hit spot
AFTER all the book sales, hype and anticipation, it is disheartening to learn that FiftyShadesofGrey is basically about a rich man who tries to seduce a virgin into being his sex slave.
While light is shed on the hardlyever talked about world of S and M (a fascinating expression of sexuality begging to be explored), this story seems more interested in putting women back in the dark ages.
An even more concerning fact for this baffled newcomer is how any of the women involved in writing the book and adapting it to film felt this was a positive celebration of female sexuality and empowerment.
Dowdy virginal student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) interviews billionaire tycoon Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for her sick journalism student friend and sparks instantly fly.
The sexually inexperienced hardware store clerk wants dates, love and romance with the hunk of spunk but he has a dark secret – he loves whips, chains and paddleboards.
Their relationship can only be one way: she does what he says and complies with any sexual activity he suggests and if they are to forge ahead, she will be contractually bound to oblige.
What does she get out of this arrangement? “Me,” he tells her. Wow, what a catch. This massive pop culture phenomenon was fun for the first half-hour, with the overly suggestive dialogue garnering knowing giggles from the audience, but once the humour subsides and the doors are open to Christian’s sex dungeon and terms, this story nose-dives.
After Christian takes Anastasia’s V-plates, she is suddenly revitalised and bopping around the kitchen making him bacon and eggs for breakfast – like a grateful, submissive homemaker should?
Going for a good 45 minutes back and forth about whether or not Anastasia will sign on the dotted line, Grey tries everything to persuade her, coming off more like a sex pest than a suave potential boyfriend.
Director Sam Taylor-Johnson does keep us on our toes, expertly teasing us until the big reveal, and drawing the best possible performances from her cast despite often wretched dialogue
Dakota Johnson opposite Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey.