By Suzy Stocking – Collegiate Staff
For a film about sex, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is surprisingly anticlimactic.
The film begins with Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), or “just Ana,” as she says multiple times, a seemingly ordinary 21-year-old college student, interviewing Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for her college’s student newspaper. Grey is the mysterious billionaire CEO of Grey Enterprises, who happens to be extremely attractive, single and interested in Anastasia. Imagine that!
Grey can’t seem to stay away from Ana, and she is equally intrigued by this mystery man. After showing up unexpectedly at the hardware store where Ana works, and a few other stalker-esque encounters, Christian reveals that he is not interested in dating. He is a dominant, and wants Ana to sign a contract making her his submissive, meaning that she would have to fulfill his sexual desires and be physically punished if she breaks any rules in the contract.
“Fifty Shades of Grey,” based off of the novel by E.L. James, was a lot to digest. There was smartly written humor sprinkled throughout the movie, but not enough to distract me from the amount of things wrong with the film.
Christian is a control freak who showers Ana in expensive gifts and offers her a lavish lifestyle in exchange for a sex life that she is clearly uncertain of and uncomfortable with at times. Take away the helicopter rides and brand new car (yes, he bought her a car) and there is really no apparent reason she would still be interested in his proposition.
Christian reveals to Ana that his first sexual experience was when he was 15 with a friend of his mother’s. Not much else is said about it, but during scenes that were supposed to be erotic and tantalizing I couldn’t help but remember that his behavior was a result of being sexually abused as an adolescent, which made me wish that Ana was calling a psychiatrist for him instead of considering his contract.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” fell flat during the ending, tying up no loose ends, leaving every question unanswered and leaving moviegoers wondering what they had just seen. Two sequels have been green-lit for production, so it’s obvious that there will be even more fervor, sex and manipulation in the next installments, but it was very disappointing that the movie did not work at all on its own.
I give this movie two out of five stars, and one of those stars has the soundtrack to thank. The Rolling Stones, Ellie Goulding, Beyoncé, and Sia, among many other great artists brought the movie to life. Beyoncé’s re-mastered version of “Crazy in Love” is definitely worth listening to, and Danny Elfman’s score does a great job of expressing the intrigue, sexual tension and relationship between Christian and Ana.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is rated R for strong sexual content, including dialogue, some unusual behavior, graphic nudity and for language.