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Fifty Shades of Grey (Review)

Okay, I have to admit, I was skeptical about this movie for a couple of reasons.

First of all, you always hear people say that books are always better than the movies and in the case of Fifty Shades of Grey I’d say the bar hadn’t been set very high on the book side of things. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t go as far as saying the book was a load of crap but compared to the two that followed it…well actually I would say it - it was a load of crap, so I didn’t hold out much hope for the film adaption.

The second reason I was skeptical was the hype. This movie has had more buzz around it than a wasp at a barbecue and in my experience when there’s that much hype and anticipation surrounding a movie the actual film can sometimes fall a little short of the expectation.

However folks brace yourselves because I actually really enjoyed it (cue the cheers and fanfare). I was expecting to get bored or fed up half way through like I had with the first book but instead I found myself feeling a tad forlorn by the time the end credits rolled.

Fifty Shades of Grey is essentially a love story between two characters that (on the face of it) are completely wrong for each other but actually fit each other very well (I’m trying very hard to curb the possibility of innuendos but let’s face it, it’s inevitable).

This story line isn’t exactly one of original status, however add in a bit of BDSM action and suddenly you’ve got yourself a brand new market. To say the movie was way better than the book would be a colossal understatement. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson has done an excellent job with this one.

In my opinion what she has essentially done is taken all the bits that people remember from the book, the best scenes and most important story telling moments and made those parts the bulk of the film. I think this is what makes it better because it eliminates all of the irritating inner monologues (courtesy of Anastasia Steele) and unnecessary scenes and descriptions which basically clog up half the book. It also cuts down the number of sex scenes by a lot because let’s be honest after the first few we were like ‘we get it he’s good in bed’.

I have got to give some props to the acting in this because it was much better than I was expecting as well. Dakota Johnson played the part of Anastasia Steele really well. In fact I’d even go as far as saying she made the character from the book a little more interesting.

Her performance grew throughout along with the character of Ana and it was believable in that sense. She really portrayed Ana’s reactions to all the new things entering her life in a realistic way, and her scenes particularly towards the end of the movie, were borderline fantastic. As for Jamie Dornan who played Christian Grey, well I actually think he was better than the image even I had created in my own head of the sadistic billionaire.

He really managed to capture the ‘between the lines’ aspect of the story with nothing more than a subtle smile or wicked glare. What I did like about the way he portrayed Mr Grey was that we got to see his reactions to things Ana said and did that you didn’t really get too much of from the book because as its from Ana’s point of view, we only get to create an image of a scene based on how Ana sees it. In that sense Jamie Dornan made Christian Grey slightly more human in a way, more concerning and attentive which you don’t necessarily get from Ana’s descriptions when you read it on paper.

I do have to mention a couple scenes in particular that I loved and that was the scene in the helicopter where they fly to Seattle (it’ll be obvious why if you’ve read the book) and also the glider scene. I know they say money isn’t everything but show me a twenty seven year old billionaire who basically has a fleet of Audi’s at his disposal, can pilot a glider, pilot a helicopter and looks like a god in a suit while doing it and I’d be fascinated too. Can’t really blame you there Anastasia.

I also have to touch upon the music in this movie because it really was great. The soundtrack was always going to attract some well-known artists given how much pre-emptive popularity the movie had gained. However, even though there were big names involved it never took anything away from any of the scenes the tracks were used in they all complemented them rather well.

So, as you can probably gather all in all I was really impressed with this film as unexpected as that was. I still don’t think the first book was all that good but the movie more than made up for the parts of the book I didn’t enjoy. The two books that follow this one are even better and if the standard of film even stays the same the next two film adaptions are going to break even more records than the first.

Especially if Taylor-Johnson stays at the helm and I guarantee if anyone who hasn’t read the books went or goes to see this movie the ending will have them half way through book three faster than you can say ‘laters baby’ (you’ll get it once you read the book).

You can catch Fifty Shades of Grey in all cinemas now.

~ Rachel ~

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