Classic Review: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Fifty Shades of Grey” which originally appeared here.

When college senior Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) fills in for her sick roommate, Kate Kavanagh (Eloise Mumford), to interview distinguished businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for their campus newspaper, her life begins to take a drastic turn. Christian as mysterious as he is powerful now finds himself drawn to Anastasia as she is to Christian. Despite being inexperienced, she gets into a relationship with Christian and learns that his true sexual tendencies converge in between pain and pleasure.

I’ll be upfront now and say that I’ve read the first half of the first book of the series, Fifty Shades of Gray. I thought the book was laughably bad and that I read like a softcore porno. With that, my expectations for the film were not very high as I was thinking it would be something like the half of the book I read. To those thinking it would be like the book (I mean the few of you who haven’t seen the film yet, more specifically males), it is unfortunately not. By that I mean the subject matter in the film is rather tame compared to how it was depicted in the book. It does have one thing in common with the book, however, it is just as laughably bad. Let me tell you how. The acting in this film, primarily that of the two leads, Johnson and Dornan, was pretty bad. More so for Dornan’s Christian Grey. He just seemed out of place in the whole film like maybe he was wrongfully cast. I found his performance wooden and shallow. He had no chemistry with Johnson’s Anastasia Steele as I found most of their scenes cringe-worthy. I though Johnson was a little better as her character had more depth but that’s not saying much as she is pretty much a doormat to his never-ending advances which really sends a strong message. The thing is you’re not watching it to feel empowered, you’re (most likely a woman) looking to live vicariously through Anastasia and her sexual exploits. I thought she tried a little more but she and Dornan had the sex appeal of a saugy adult magazine. What I thought really brought this whole thing down was the terrible dialogue with most of it occurring during the majority of the scenes with Johnson and Dornan as it is the primary reason for all the things I previously mentioned. It is so bad that when I saw this in the theater the first time, other people in the theater were laughing at what were supposedly serious moments. Despite everything I’ve said so far, there were still a few things I liked about this film. I liked the music because it really got me in the mood (pun intended) and I thought it was nicely shot except for the love scenes. In conclusion, I went to see the film the first time because I thought it was going to be bad and I could just laugh at it and for the most part it was and i did. That did not change the second time around.

Score: 5/10

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