A week has passed since the release of the cinematic adaptation of E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey.
If you haven’t seen the film directed by Sam Johnson-Taylor, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, you may be the small part of the population who is choosing to ignore the hype.
In a nutshell, the movie is about Christian Grey (Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Johnson), who are from completely different worlds. He is wealthy, sophisticated and seems as though he has his life together, while Anastasia is about to finish university with an arts’ degree and hasn’t really given any thought as to what her next step is going to be. They meet by chance, and, boom, you see Mr Grey fall in love with Miss Steele instantly. It is a classic love story with a twist, in the sense that Mr Grey has ‘singular taste’ when it comes to his sexual tendencies. He introduces Miss Steele, a virgin, to a world of power, dominance and at times, cruelty, but as the movie progresses, you see a different side to Mr Grey. He genuinely seems to be falling in love with Miss Steele, but he cannot bear to bring himself to say it, or feel it. ‘I have had a rough start in life,’ he tells her and, ‘I’m not the man for you; you should stay away from me.’ But she doesn’t. She presses on, she is determined to uncover what his “issues” are and how she can help him heal, in a sense. But there are dark moments, too. You see Mr Grey falling apart because he simply doesn’t know how to respond emotionally to Miss Steele’s needs, so he responds in the only way he knows how to: through BDSM. Sure, his BDSM is a turn-on for her, and she’s willing to explore his world, but she doesn’t understand why he’s not willing to explore hers—and that’s when it gets messy. You have give Miss Steele credit: she has that fire and spark that Mr Grey loves, and yet, he has no idea how to be a ‘hearts and flowers man’ and as he plainly tells her, ‘I’m fifty shades of f***ed up.’
Dakota Johnson was made for this role. She steals every scene with her lightness, naïveté, her interest in exploring her sexuality and for wanting to help the man she loves find his way to her world. Jamie Dornan is the brooding Grey, all dark and mysterious, but you get the sense that there is so much more to him and his story than he is willing to share, and that’s the beauty of this series. We find out why he is the way he is, and in the end, we want to be able to answer the age old question: is love enough to save someone?
If you want a thought-provoking movie, go see it; don’t be intimidated by other people’s reviews and make your own judgements. Mr Grey will see you now.—Snjezana Bobič