Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

I won't give out too much details about the movie for those who still want to see it.  With over 100 million copies of the trilogy sold and the books being translated into 52 languages I would think there is a built in audience for this movie.  So no matter what the critics say people are going to go see it and so this review really won't matter, but as a movie does it stack up to others of it's genre.  That genre being the erotic film.

Erotica is a genre that dates back a long way.  From books, to films the genre has been a popular one and a very lucrative one too.  The film tries to be, but it isn't at all erotic.  There is a scene in the film where our heroine (Dakota Johnson) and (Mr Grey) sit at a piano and are whisked away in a passionate embrace, which is as close to erotic as the film gets.

But to say that this film is devoid of any redeeming value is a lie.  Ms Johnson's performance is what makes the film.  She does a good job at conveying her characters interest in Mr. Grey's obsessions, but it is Johnson's ability to portray her character as a strong and independent character who is set afire by her awakening desires.  She is what makes it interesting.  I totally agree that the film could have been edited a bit better.  just as the characters are getting interesting we find ourselves at the end.  The end is unsatisfying, and we the audience are left up in the air.  I realize that this is part of a trilogy, but the book stands on it's own, and is not dependent on the second or third book.  Instead they explore a different period in the characters lives.  The movie does not do this and by leaving the audience hanging it make the film weak.

There are a lot of other films that I really could are better.  I would think this to be a romantic film with S&M as a theme on how broken we as human beings can be, and how puritan we as a society are, but the film treats it like a gimmick.  It cheapens it, and makes the film not as good as it should be.

Dakota Johnson does a lot here to make us feel for the character she plays and she does a fantastic job at it.  Jamie Dorman tries to do the same and he does his best but there is little for him to work with.  Dorman's character is a caricature of a wealthy troubled millionaire.  He tries his best at what the screenplay allows him to, but we still don't get who he is.  It is only at the end when there is a conflict that we see or have a clue to what his character is really like.

Listen if you're a fan you'll see the film despite the reviews, but from what I am told there is more depth in the book about the characters then there is in the film.  Again Ms Johnson's performance is quite good,  and just alone I recommend the film.

It's not a bad date movie.  It certainly will make the dinner or late nightcap conversation a bit more interesting.