Borrowing a little from the Twilight series and much from the fatigued imagination of a high school teenager, “Fifty Shades of Grey”is the story of a successful male control freak who falls for an emotionally pure woman.One can say that the screen adaptation of E. L. James’ best seller by Sam Taylor-Johnson is all about the physical “stuff” of a young mogul.

Christian is – a super rich multimillionaire capitalist, a pianist, a pilot, a pervert, a psychic, a sadist and what not! An Austen fan herself, Anastasia looks like the heroine of “Northanger Abbey” who is mocked for always assuming the worst or at any rate, the most gothically arousing. Their ‘Submissive- Dominant’ relationship lacks a note.

 

Dakota Johnson is the unexpected highlight of the movie. To an extent, she perfectly portrays Ana’s journey from being a bookish literature student to a rebellious submissive.  The film’s Ana is a vast improvement, from a self doubting, low esteemed literature student to a funny, quick witted girl. Her character is more empowered than that shown in the book (probably a little relief for all the feminists out there). James’s Christian is a superhuman whereas Taylor Johnson turns Grey (Jamie Dornan) into a guy who could really exist with his constipated-face expressions and an introvert self.

Plus points of the movie would be the lead performances by close up frames, sleek, stylish locations and Audis and definitely the camera work.Credits go to director Sam Taylor-Johnson and her screenwriter, Kelly Marcel.

Ana’s monologues are missing. Taylor-Johnson has discarded the authorial voice of “inner goddess” and her subconscious, leaving that job on the camera. Eloise Mumford fits well in her role of the confident roommate, but overall, the supporting cast is underused. The movie is basically a two-handier.

The elaborate contract scenes and the tete-a-tete regarding the document (meant to be a sensuous interlude) may call for a patience-test.

How you respond to those “playroom” scenes will depend on many factors, from your gender to your personal predilections to the depth of your experience.

Fifty Shades of Grey was meant to be released in India on the Valentine’s Day which was a bold move (but, was banned) , since the movie glamorizes sexual violence, its protagonist being a sadist male in need of rehabilitation. And hey, abuse is not romance! While some may enjoy the shade upon shade of muted naughtiness, most of the viewers would want a safe word to escape this mess.

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Author: Rashi Chauhan
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