Adap­ta­tion fails to hit spot

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

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.

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