Fifty Shades Too Grey

Fifty shades of Grey was originally a trilogy novel written by E.L. James, before it was produced as a movie released on February 13, 2015. With a budget of an estimated forty million, the movie grossed at $166,147,885 USD, and in the first week the box offices collected $94,395,000 in the United States alone. What was all the rave about this movie finally reaching theatres?

fifty shades of grey

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The movie basically depicts an innocent student meeting a wealthy tycoon and falling helplessly in love with him, which later has its repercussions. Anastasia Steele, a literature student, goes to interview Christian Grey, a wealthy businessman, as a favor to her roommate. Once there she encounters a brilliant and intimidating man who she grows quickly attracted to. Innocent and naïve, despite Grey’s reserve and advice, she still becomes in desperate need to be often in his presence, and gradually he becomes attracted to Steele’s beauty and independence.

However, he outlines his desire for her on his own terms but that makes Ana hesitant as she discovers his qualities and unfavorable hidden traits, despite his success, multinational business, his loving family or vast wealth. She finds that rather than being about love and relationships, Grey pursues her in need for control and introduces her to his world of bondage and discipline, dominance and submission and sadomasochism (BDSM). Rated R for strong sexual content inclusive of dialogue, usual behaviour and graphic language, the screenplay directed has gotten mixed reviews and the majority of them are unfavorable.

Over fifty-thousand reviewers and critics alike took to Imdb.com to voice their opinions of the movie, giving it a startling 4.2 out of 10 stars, despite its success in the box office in the first week. One critic described the book as “not well written but had a certain pulpy, randy, page-turning quality however, the movie was slow-moving, tepid and maddening repetitive.”

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But why did the movie receive such bad reviews? Was it in light of the erotic descriptions within the pages of the book? Or was it because viewers are so used to seeing strong sexual content and since their desire was not fulfilled then it has awakened anger and disappointment in the wide-range audience? Has society’s thirst for sexual innuendos fallen short of normal? Are persons so caught up with the need for sexual satisfaction that the real problem is not having their needs gratified but the fact that they need to re-evaluate the level at which sexual content influences their lives.

A majority of series and movies depict this level of sexual content, so much so that viewers have become unaware that movies can exist without the inferences of eroticism. How does one begin to ‘tone down’ on the exposure so that the audience isn’t so much disappointed when a particular movie does not meet their expectations?

Reviews and comments

“When you take a close look at “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it becomes painfully clear that it’s basically a plethora of sex scenes strung together with a bare minimum of support.” J. Black from Richmond Movie Examiner.

“A generic romance cynically engineered to appeal to the lowest common denominator of female fantasy.” – M. Daum from Slate.

“The director of the much-anticipated adaptation, Sam Taylor-Johnson, made what could have been a trashy TV movie into well-conceived cinema.” M. Goldstein from the Boston Globe.

“In the end, there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before. But there’s also nothing as agonizingly awkward as James’s prose.” – S. Merry from the Washington Post.

“Basically, they made a lousy, mid-2000s-era Katherine Heigl romance with a handful of explicit sex scenes spliced throughout the familiar clichés.” – R. Roeper from the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Sadly, in the film adaptation of EL James’ soft-core mummy erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey, there’s very little actual pleasure and a reasonable amount of cinematic pain.”…… “It’s tempting to simply dismiss the Fifty Shades of Grey series as nothing more than a male fantasy written by a woman (a submissive woman willing to do everything the man wants) and I suspect there’s probably a good reason why the book series have been so perennially popular with the imagination and escapism proving a large part of their appeal.”  – Darren’s World of Entertainment.

We welcome your thoughts and comments.

By: Alexandra Daley

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