Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
  • Time: 125 min
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
  • Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eloise Mumford, Jennifer Ehle


When Anastasia Steele, a literature student, goes to interview the wealthy Christian Grey, as a favor to her roommate Kate Kavanagh, she encounters a beautiful, brilliant and intimidating man. The innocent and naive Ana started to realize she wants him, despite his enigmatic reserve and advice, she finds herself desperate to get close to him. Not able to resist Ana’s beauty and independent spirit, Christian Grey admits he wants her too, but in his own terms. Ana hesitates as she discovers the singular tastes of Christian Grey – despite of the embellishments of success, his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family – Grey is consumed by the need to control everything.


  • Quickie Review:

    Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a naïve literature student, who goes to interview billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). They both are instantly attracted to each other. However, Anastasia’s life is changed forever as she enters Christian’s luxurious and sexual world. Fifty Shades of Grey is horrible. A soft-core porn masquerading itself as something more. Laughable dialogue and shallow caricatures, although plentiful are the least of its problems. Avoid this movie at all cost, please don’t support such horrid excuse for a film.

    Full Review:

    I understand the appeal of exploring sexual fantasies. Considering the world-wide sensation that was the novel, there is a lot of curiosity to know what all the fuss is about. That curiosity is what got me to go to the cinema to check it out. I really wish Doc Brown’s DeLorean arrives this year so I can stop the past me from making this terrible mistake.

    I am not an unreasonable guy, so I’ll start with the positives. The cinematography is done well, it looks good. However, polish a turd as much as you want, in the end it’s still a turd.

    There are two reactions you will have to the dialogue: laughter at its absurdity or cringing at its awkwardness. There is no flow to what’s being said. They’d be sitting at a dinner table having a conversation and out of nowhere Anastasia will say “will you make love to me now?” I instantly thought of Ron Burgundy’s meme of That Escalated Quickly. Little did I know I should have saved that meme thought for the immediate gem of a line from Christian “I don’t make love, I f***.” Well at least he gets right to his point. What teenager wrote this script? It makes Twilight feel like Shakespeare.

    Now let’s talk about the caricatures, yes caricatures because these aren’t characters. Christian only has one mood setting, deeply brooding. The only other way to describe him is, rich. On the other hand, Anastasia is desperately made to look like a simple innocent small town girl. Oh look she drives a beat up VW Beetle, oh she’s from a small town in Georgia, oh she doesn’t own computer, oh she still uses a flip phone from her middle school, oh she doesn’t have fancy clothes. We get it! Move on.

    If you are thinking I am looking too into this, and that all I have mentioned are just means to an end which are the titillating BDSM scenes, fair enough, let me address those scenes. They are simply not sexy, there is no chemistry whatsoever. Most of the time it doesn’t even feel like Anastasia wants to be there. If you are looking to be shocked by the craziness of BDSM, except for the last scene it is actually quite mild. There are other movies that handle the topic of sex much better. For example, The Little Death, about taboo fantasies and how real couples deal with them, or Nymphomaniac about sex addiction and how it consumes you, or Secretary about the psychology behind BDSM.

    But the most insulting of all, that I can’t understand how it is acceptable in the mainstream, is how weak of a “character” Anastasia is. The entire movie, she doesn’t stand on her own. Even though she is being emotionally abused, she needs a man. Even when she is whipped and doesn’t enjoy it, she is still in love with him. What did he do to deserve your love Anastasia? Oh right, new computer, new dresses, new Audi, helicopter rides, and glider rides. Simply insulting.

    So please, do not watch this movie. I know I’ve used the phrase, avoid at all cost, before for reviews of bad movies, but in this case I really mean it. If you are being dragged to see this movie, bribe your friend to not make you go. It’s better use of your money anyway. I hate to rant non-stop, but for this movie I had to. If this review saves even one soul from the misery I’ve endured, I’ll consider my life’s purpose on this little rock we call Earth, complete.

    I was battling to rate this movie either 1 or 2 out of 10, but I opted for the higher rating. Why you ask? Because it managed to get a man in his mid-20s to complain about a movie filled with sex scenes. That’s an amazing feat in itself that I must commend.

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  • I’ll take two approaches to 50 Shades of Grey.
    (i) The story
    Not having read the book, I can only describe the film as a feminist caricature of male dominance, in business, social conventions and especially sex. Here is male power extensio ad nauseum.
    Women embrace the story because it’s pure fantasy. Christian Grey (what a safe name for a guy who works in the ambiguous netherworld) is a dream lover. Played by a rippling underwear model, he’s a handsome single billionaire who runs a high powered network of investment, development and charity. He plays classical piano, flies and glides, is equally accomplished at literary references and jogging, has cars, closets and apartments to die for — and he’s not gay. The twist is that he’s not Cary Grant but a practitioner of the current trend, rough sex. His playroom does not come from Home Hardware. I think.
    Anastasia Steele (i.e., a deposable princess with a hard core to resist his hardcore designs) literally falls for him when she first enters his office. She wants sex, love and romance, the latter two of which his life scars prevent him giving her. She is pretty, slender, a virgin, but is ultimately reluctant to accept the flogging and punishment his alternative to love-making requires. She will follow him into his world but wants the right to say when to stop. After submitting to so much, Anastasia eventually takes back her power.
    Christian was originally seduced into being a submissive. There he discovered the joys of being controlled, freedom from having to make decisions or determine his will. Every tyrant would love to sell that bill of goods. Now he contends he will offer Anastasia that liberty, as if it wasn’t for primarily his satisfaction. He sets the firm terms of their relationship — in a legal contract, no less — that protects him from her desires, like their sleeping together, going out on dates or being affectionate. He will run the whole show. So like a guy, he still has the nerve to blame her for attracting, weakening and changing him. It is to laugh.
    The film ends like the scene of their first meeting: the elevator closes separating them as they say each other’s name. Expect a sequel. Or two. Increasingly shadier if not Greyer.
    (ii) The style
    The film is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who as Sam Taylor-Wood was one of the brilliant young visual artists in Britain. She won the most promising artist award at the 1997 Venice Biennale and placed second to Chris Offili for the 1998 Turner Prize. Her art photography background sets the film’s visual style: glossy shallow opulence. Her opening city is metallic grey. Scene after scene gleams like a Vogue layout. Everything is expensive, classy — and cold. So are the characters. Both leads’ mothers seem all plastic face, the adoptive fathers impotent jokers.
    Though bondage has for some time been a suggestive staple in the glossy fashion mags, there’s a piquant tension here between the flashy layouts and the flayed flesh beneath. To preserve an R rating (and box office), however, the sex scenes are still softcore, apparently a sellout from the extremities that gave the novel its sting. We see the Steele naughty bits a lot but nothing of the lower Grey front. Don’t expect the DVD to provide that selected short subject. Indeed the sex scenes are so tame the film can be charged with domesticating transgression.
    This work clearly grows out of Taylor-Wood’s previous films. Her 2002 commissioned portrait of David Beckham for the National Portrait Gallery was a film that watched the beautiful man sleeping. He was at once the subject of the film and the object of the world’s gaze — for once the woman’s gaze not just the male. Her Nowhere Boy (2008) examined the early years of the young, sensitive, abandoned lad who became John Lennon. Her Crying Men recorded a number of famous men crying, including Lawrence Fishbourne, Paul Newman, Sean Penn and Robin Williams, familiar men in an unfamiliar openness. Like into what that bully Anastasia is trying to convert our poor Christian, turning the cocksure into henpecked. It may take another two films to do that, but I’d bet she will. Unless Sam Taylor-Johnson is given free rein to be as daring in these films as she was in her art. For more analyses see

  • With any literary adaptation, one hopes to equal, improve upon, or surpass the source material. Part of the trick is to assess how it can be translated into another medium. What works on the page does not necessarily work on the screen. Fidelity is optional, the spirit rather than the letter of the work should be the main objective. E.L. James’ hugely successful Fifty Shades trilogy – over 100 million copies sold worldwide – seems a singular exception to this as neither the spirit nor the letter of the work lends itself to any coherent, non-risible transfer. Credit director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel for fashioning a mildly watchable film out of what initially began as Twilight fan fiction.

    As with Twilight, the template of the push-pull romance between fair maiden and darkhearted beast is embellished with the unconventional – instead of vampires and werewolves, restraints and floggers. Sexually inexperienced romantic Anastasia “Ana” Steele (Dakota Johnson) finds herself in the forbiddingly sleek offices of Grey House, where she literally stumbles in to interview Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), the obscenely wealthy and handsome supercapitalist. He’s still and self-contained, she’s flushed and fidgety. An attraction is established and the pursuit begins.

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  • 50 Shades of Grey (Rating: ☆☆ out of 4)

    This film is not recommended.

    In brief: 50 ways to bruise your lover…and an audience as well.

    GRADE: C

    Floggers ready…it’s time to beat a dead horse! 50 Shades of Grey has arrived, a guilty pleasure that quickly becomes a guiltless displeasure.

    But first, let me digress…Years ago, my sweet elderly mother drove out-of-town to see the racy Saturday Night Fever, a popular R-rated film. Her desire to see this film proved greater than her actual enjoyment but, at least, she was able to experience it first hand and no one she knew would know her dirty little secret. Her reputation remained purloined and intact. I bring this up as that film was nearly forty years ago and not much has changed with the latest sexual romp being Fifty Shades of Grey. The beat (or the beatings) goes on, even with its wall-to-wall contemporary pop soundtrack.

    We now return to our regular scheduled review: Fifty Shades of Grey (or 50 Ways to Bruise Your Lover) is a dull boring affair. The sex on screen is strictly rote, badly wrote. Most of this carnal action has been seen countless times in other sex films. You know the routine: quick cuts of breasts, rears, and even quicker glimpses of genitalia interspersed with arched backs and stylized poses in various states of undress, all looking for unattainable ecstasy. The sex is sanitized for the masses. After all, it has a R-rating. It’s the softest of soft porn.

    Fifty Shades of Grey celebrates sexual diversity while condemning that sexual choice with Puritan fanaticism. It’s smug, condescending, and pure fantasy. The filmmakers plays both sides hoping men can relate to that male dominance angle while women can empathize with their sensual desires. (I won’t get into the debate of degrading women or the issue of sexual domination and violence. This film degrades mankind in its silly treatment and romantic disillusion of pleasure and pain.)

    James Dornan and Dakota Johnson play the mismatched lovers, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Grey is handsome, sexy, and rich. He is “the world’s most eligible billionaire bachelor”. Ana is a young awkward and naive virgin, ready to be plucked and educated in the fine art of lovemaking. They stare longingly at each other. They breathe heavily and talk dirty. They strip down often, moping more than groping. The endless droning and groaning at the height of their sexual passions is repeated often between their trips to the infamous “red” room, a private boudoir filled with the all of the latest S&M equipment that money can buy. Ana continually bites her lips. Christian plays the piano whenever he needs a Zen moment since he never can crack a smile. He showers his pretty woman with expensive gifts and demands of obedience. She complies. And so it goes. On and on.

    Their mating dance becomes downright laughable. and their dialog is just awful. ( “I want to f**ck you until next week!” / “I don’t make love…I f**k hard!” Shakespeare, it ain’t. Heck, Danielle Steele, it ain’t! But alas, it is Anastasia Steele!) The actors are so intense and deadly serious, uttering this nonsense with every spoken sentence ending in large exclamation points. Both Mr. Dornan and Ms. Johnson are physically attractive performers, but their acting never rises to any level of reality. That they were able to say their lines with the straightest of faces, at least, shows some acting restraint. (I wish them all the luck in the future with more challenging roles than these one-dimensional characters allow.)

    The director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, does an adequate job, but she seems as obsessed with the excesses of Mr. Grey’s vast empire as our darling Anastasia. This is a big budget picture after all, even if there is no real money shot. The director carefully places her camera strategically out of view of any male frontal views. (But there is still a fleeting glimpse of Ms. Johnson’s private area that goes pubic, I mean public. So much for woman’s liberation.)

    As Mr. Grey so eloquently states at one point in the movie, “I’m fifty shades of f**ked up.” So is this movie.

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  • Tony Barton

    50 Shades of Grey is an erotic drama directed by Sam Taylor Johnson and stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) is a student attending Washington State University who is asked by her best friend Kate (Eloise Mumford) to fill in for her and do an interview at the office of business man Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).

    However, Ana finds the handsome Christian a distraction, which results in the interview going badly. Ana puts it down to experience and returns to her usual day to day life, which includes a job at an hardware store. Ana’s day is suddenly turned upside down, when, to her surprise, in walks Christian, who starts to search the shop for Masking Tape, Cable Ties, Rope. Ana tells Christian that Kate would like a few photos to go with the questionnaire that she had left at his office and he had secretly filled in. Christian gives her his phone number in order to arrange a photo shoot.

    The next day, Ana, Kate and Jose, their photographer friend, meet Christian at his hotel. Christian begins to show more than just a casual interest in Ana and asks her out for a coffee. Ana is surprised to learn that he to his single. Christian tells her how he enjoys the company of woman, but he is in no way a romantic. However, Christian later sends Ana a gift of some very rare and priceless books.

    Ana is flattered, but feels completely out of Christian’s league and considers giving the books back. That night, a drunken Ana phones Christian, who decides to go and pick the drunk Ana up from the club and takes her back to his hotel. They arrange to go on another date, which includes an helicopter flight to his apartment. Once there, Christian insists she agrees to sign a contract, which prevents her from talking in any way to anyone about their times together. It also contains some very strange demands, that make it clear, that their relationship will be purely sexual and based on his dominance and her submission.

    So Ana, who was previously a virgin, now finds herself in a very complex and steamy relationship, a relationship were she’s expected to be nothing more than a willing and submissive partner.

  • Movie Name : Fifty Shades Of Grey
    Genre : Romance / Drama
    Rating : 1/5 ( Awful)

    The Twilight film series was popularized and blown-out-of-proportion by fans of the book and result was headache and melancholy associated with each twilight film. Fifty Shades Of Grey follows the same step which is saddened by over-the-top performance and lame script.

    The life of an internship student changes when she meets big-shot and mysterious business tycoon, Christian Grey.

    The trailer of Fifty Shades Of Grey, based on immensely popular book of same name written by E.L.James, was catchy and interesting but when you watch the film, you will be flabbergasted to watch half-porn sleazy skin show with no convincing moments enough to bring out the romance and feel good factor. In fact, the movie will remind you early Twilight series which had immature actors and worst direction. Screenplay is weak with no sense of storyline. Cinematography is good. Art direction is nice. Editing is loose. First time director Sam Taylor-Johnson gets ample scope to bring the falling pieces together but fails miserably with unconvincing plot. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, apart from looking good on-screen, still has long way to go in terms of acting. Other actors are pathetic. Songs are the only silver- lining in this boring flick.

    Overall, I felt it was a waste of my time, energy and money. Given a chance, I would have watched Whiplash again .Poor 1/5

  • Saw this to see what all the fuss was all about…

    The smart marketing guys and galls at Universal targeted this flick at women coz it opened at Valentine’s Day and women crave roman at this time. This film is supposed to be romantic -and it sort of is- but at the same time it incorporates BDSM into the storyline (trust me, there is no BDSM in this film, very soft porn at best maybe) which is always good for controversy and to spike curiosity. A lot of criticism on this film was about the lead actress not being a strong female character, but that argument is moot. This film is supposed to be a female fantasy of a strong dominant rich alpha male who sweeps them of their feet. But it also tries to sell the not entirely convincing story of a tormented man with a socially unaccepted obsession.

    There is another film on this subject called ‘Secretary’ which did a lot better job at telling this story. I won’t spoil anything but there is a comical scene (it’s not intended to be funny) about a contract negotiation where words are used you normally don’t hear in American mainstream cinema. So maybe we should be commending them in not trying to make a romantic comedy done a 1000 times before but do something a bit more dramatic. The problem is that it’s not convincing, the dialogue is sometimes poorly written and it’s basically a movie with an identity crisis, it tries to be more things than it is.
    They should have either gone full-out dramatic and focused on the story and made it darker and less mainstream or made it a flatout romance.

    In any case, it’s not as bad as those twilight movies were and Dakota Johnson is quite nice to look at.

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