I can admit to reading a couple of chapters from 50 Shades of Grey but put the book down after that. I found no inclination to continue reading a very badly written book and so I can't compare the film to the written form. Unusual for me, but so be it.
I was determined that I was not going to see this film as I felt from all reviews that it was simply showcasing an abusive, controlling male patriarch. However having spent a full evening just two weeks ago discussing the movie with friends I decided it was time to get myself off my high horse and go along and see if I can be persuaded to give this film a little credit. I did after all, spend hours preaching against it, and taking all my information from others. So now, it was time to see for myself just what all the fuss was about.
Myself and four friends ventured to the local cinema in Derry, Brunswick Movie Bowl, yesterday evening to see 50 Shades of Grey. We arrived a little early to allow for a drink. We all felt that this was going to be a tedious two hours. Martha's Vineyard provided the perfect surrounding for the pre-show drinks. Then at 8.30pm we entered the movie theatre. Unfortunately we were just a little late and ended up seated at the front of house, the second row back. Just a little too close I thought, but it sufficed.
'When college senior Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) steps in for her sick room mate to interview prominent businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for their campus paper, little does she realise the path her life will take. Christian, as enigmatic as he is rich and powerful, finds himself strangely drawn to Ana, and she to him. Though sexually inexperienced, Ana plunges headlong into an affair - and learns Christian's true sexual proclivities push the boundaries of pain and pleasure.'
I immediately warmed to the character of Ana. Dakota Johnson allowed me to like this Miss Steele. But what caught my attention most was that Ana has a backbone. She's not lured into some sex mad Grey's life without her own full consent. Ana chooses to make this change to her life, she is exploring her own boundaries as well as Christian's. However, the boundaries were pushed at the end when we see Ana sobbing with pain and Grey continuing his punishment.
My understanding of the film was that Christian Grey was an abusive, controlling dominant. He is both of these and more, but Ana is aware of it all from the onset.
As for Christian Grey, I may not like or support any of his sexual antics, but there's a part of me that left the cinema feeling sorry for his character. Jamie Dornan didn't appeal in any way and it's clear from the movie that his heart certainly isn't in this character. Sexual chemistry there is none of. However instead of my writing about some crazed control freak, I find myself writing about a young boy with a very troubled childhood and upbringing. Christian Grey is more about a troubled past that he is about a sexual 'dominant'. Here is a character rife for any psycho analyst to get stuck into. Here is a man who needs to learn how to love because he's never known real love. The abuse in Grey's life is all from his past and it's come back to haunt him into adulthood.
When I went into that cinema last night it was with an open mind and yet part of me was destined to despise the movie. I left feeling very different. I certainly won't recommend it as a 'must see', but if like me you have been preaching against it, then go along and judge for yourself. The media has made it into something it certainly isn't.
As for the sequel, will I go along? Most definitely. I want to see if Christian Grey gets the help he so desperately needs and learns to live a normal life. I want to see the little boy freed from his past. I want to see Christian Grey wearing lots more of that blue suit, and ditching the dreaded 'grey'!