“50 Shades of SUCK”
“There’s really not much to know about me.”
When I walked out of 50 Shades of Grey and looked up into the cold dark night, I questioned wether I wanted to continue trying to pursue a career in film. It’s the small moments like these that make me question, why even bother if garbage like this can get made and make millions at the box office, making Hollywood interested in making more. I know it’s still very early in the year, but I already have a “worst of” list that is growing at a very disturbing rate. I’m not reviewing the book or how close the source material is to the film since I’ve only read three pages of the book itself; so maybe I should try to be a writer if poorly made crap like this can get published. With every fiber of my being, I loathe this film.
“I want to f**k you into next week.”
50 Shades of Grey, is the story of Anastasia Steele, a college graduate who slowly becomes the love interest of Christian Grey (a billionaire) after one single interview for a college newspaper. He is not only the perfect man, with perfect manners, lifestyle, body, bank account and parental units but he has one weakness: he is into BDSM. The character of Christian is at least a fully developed person with likes and dislikes, but unfortunately Anastasia is a blank slate type woman character, in other words the worst type.
I do know for a fact that the book series was at one time Twilight fan-fiction and it feels it at every turn. At least with Twilight (the films) they were laughable and could be considered a guilty pleasure by some, and a horrid piece of albatross by others. This film is only a horrid piece of albatross. So where to start? I guess with the positives, so this should be real short. The film looks good, lighting in certain scenes along with some good cinematography leads to some memorable moments with character motivations being revealed in some, not so subtle ways. That’s honestly it with the positives.
On the other hand is the negative, lets start with the characters. As I said in the previous paragraph that Anastasia is a blank slate, in the same way that Bella Swan was a blank slate. In a book this can be used to make the reader fill in their personality with the main character since there is little to no information about them to be told. In a film its intentions are more than disturbing when we find that our main character has the personality of a robot as designed by someone from the 1950’s. What I mean by that is, she has no personality and is merely there to be used as a means to an end, rather than say, having a feeling of what she wants/doesn’t want or need. We know nothing about her other than some of her past, but she never has a character arc at any such time, leaving her to be a bland boring piece of meat that the audience is supposed to like. You could seriously replace her entire character with a table lamp and the film would remain unchanged.
I clearly remember society as a whole getting over Bella Swan as a boring piece of meat and deciding to never do that again with a female character. So as a society we moved onto Katniss Everdeen, a female character that is strong, doesn’t need a man and can stand on her own two feet and changes as the series progresses, even if she doesn’t want to. She must face her challenges, and is a character that is long remembered even after the film is over. It would appear that we unfortunately have taken two steps forward, but ten steps back.
The plot itself feels very much rushed and yet boring at the same time. During the film I reminded to myself, they’ve only known each other for maybe two weeks and then had a heavy sigh as it was playing out like a soap opera with a bigger budget. Christian comes off as a creepy stalker that is obsessed with his new play toy, which is only there to meet his sexual satisfaction, not even to be a friend. I do understand that in today’s world, relationships like this can exist and thrive if both parties understand the rules of engagement, but Anastasia does not want this type relationship, but wants the typical “chocolate and flowers” guy, which leads me to ask, WHY EVEN STAY WITH HIM? You know he is a sadist, that gets pleasure by being the one in charge and yet you want him to change? I feel like I’m arguing with a wall, oh wait, I am since she is a blank slate.
If that wasn’t bad enough for this film, the movie goes out of its way to set up and show characters (for a mere ninety seconds) before swiftly shoving them out of frame having nothing accomplished or even have any affect on the film, which leads me to ask, why even bother? Oh wait I remember, the film is going to have sequels and instead of introducing characters then, that might service the plot they decided to introduce them now for the sake of the fans.
As everyone is asking, how are the sex scenes? Well I’m sorry to have to disappoint, but they are extremely tame even considering the R rating it was given. If you really were looking for something more hardcore and a real representation of the BDSM lifestyle I would recommend Nymphomaniac (part 2) for something like that. Let me put it this way, the most hardcore thing this film does is some minor spanking with a riding crop. A 6/10 in terms of eroticism at best, and a severe letdown at worst considering how limited the marketing for this film has been, by really teasing those scenes. Even the film teases its audience by having scenes have more than obvious foreshadowing with cringe-worthy dialogue. Everyone know’s what is about to happen but we will have to wait for almost fifty minutes before the first real sex scene happens.
I did happen to see this film with an audience, and I swear this is true; I was the only guy in there. What I got was whooping, ooohh-ing and clapping during the sex scenes. I know that there is a reputation in America today that paints men as only liking the female figure for sexualization and as objects only, and that sex scenes are only there for titillation and to bring in a male audience. If I have learned anything tonight it is that, at least men are quiet and don’t disrupt the film when these scenes happen. Also for a female driven film, the film shows all it can of the female body, while the male body is barely represented and only has an ass shot and a very quick pubic hair shot. If the film is trying to pander to a different demographic, then why this shying away from the thing the audience is going to look for?
I know this should be enough for a review, but I could go on about how the film has a lame, sudden ending that’s merely there to get people interested in a sequel or that the film dips into a clear abusive relationship that is disgusting. When the lights came up, people around me started saying “that’s it!?” as I raised my two middle fingers toward the screen.
50 Shades of Grey is an extreme let down in almost every department aside from some decent scenes of lighting and cinematography. It’s a loathsome film that will be remembered for being such a build up, only to be cinematic blue balls. Let me put it this way, unless this wasn’t clear enough, if 50 Shades of Grey was a person, I would punch it in the mouth.
So this weekend when it becomes number one at the box office, I want it to step onto its first place podium, then put the rope around its neck so we can kick the podium away.