‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ brings popular book to the big screen, gets mixed reviews

Published by adviser, Author: Harmony Kasper - Rocket Contributor, Date: February 24, 2015

Easily the most controversial movie of the year, if not the decade,“Fifty Shades of Grey” is not the movie you go see with your significant other or parent.   Even if you go with someone who has read the books and knows what to expect, it can still be a little awkward.

But what else would you expect from Christian Grey and his kinky ways? Did Jamie Dornan pull off the sexy and mysterious man who runs his own company but has a secret pleasure? How did the movie match up with the book? Let’s analyze this erotic film from start to finish.

To begin, the novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” became widely popular amongst various ages of women and was dubbed “mommy porn” once the rest of the trilogy was released. Books like this have been written for quite some time, but have never become as big as “The Twilight Saga” or “The Hunger Games” trilogy until E. L. James’s BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) trilogy came along. Many fans of the books flocked to theaters opening weekend and brought in an estimated $85.1 million, according to Forbes, in just three days.

The movie begins at least a chapter into the book with Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) already making her way to Seattle to interview Christian in place of her “under the weather” journalist roommate Kate (Eloise Mumford). Christian and Anna’s interactions with each other in the interview are slightly awkward and there’s not much “spark.”

This part read better on the page. Immediately, Christian is smitten and pursues Ana at her place of employment at Clayton’s Hardware and sends her first edition books that probably cost as much as Ana’s tuition at Washington State University.

One scene that was more enjoyable to watch was when Ana gets drunk at the bar and calls Christian. He immediately comes to rescue her from José (Victor Rasuk), Ana’s friend, who had more of a major role in the book.

Then, Christian gives the big reveal, his playroom or “Red Room of Pain,” and Ana is amazed, yet frightened. The movie shows how Ana takes until her graduation to tell Christian that she has decided to become his submissive.

There are a few romantic parts, like when Christian takes Ana to his family’s home for dinner, the helicopter ride on their first date and when they go flying in a two-person airplane. There are actually are a few parts where you admire Christian for trying to be a real boyfriend.

It’s obvious that movie Christian is much nicer than book Christian. Book Christian is always demanding Ana to eat right, not drink alcohol, take birth control and regularly exercise. He is not just her dominant/boyfriend but also her “mother.” He also isn’t as mean and cold towards Ana, which you get a lot of in the book when she does something that upsets him.

Jamie Dornan is not who I thought would be cast as Christian Grey, but he did a pretty good job. As a fan of his from “Once Upon A Time,” I never pictured him transitioning from the fantasy world to becoming a sadomasochistic.

The actor is from Northern Ireland and at times his accent slightly comes through. I think getting rid of Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”) was the best move because he doesn’t resemble the Christian Grey painted for you in the books. Dornan is pretty close, but I would have rather seen Ian Somerhalder (“The Vampire Diaries”) or Matt Bomer (“White Collar”).

Dakota Johnson (“21 Jump Street”, “Need for Speed”) embodies the Anastasia Steele that you read from the page. She’s plain, awkward and doesn’t know the first thing about the BDSM lifestyle.

In the movie, they try to make it obvious every time she bites her lip (which drives Christian crazy) by doing a close-up shot of her mouth. This happens a lot, and it’s almost too forced.

The most emotional scene for Ana comes at the very end when she is getting whipped with a belt by Christian for “misbehaving.” She can’t take it anymore and walks out, ending with a similar scene that happened in the beginning of the two saying goodbye to each other in an elevator.

This movie is rated R for many reasons but it is much tamer than the book. If everything would have been included in the movie, it would have been a pornography film. I won’t say too much about the sex scenes, except that they take up about 20 minutes of the 125 minute film.

I never thought that after reading “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I would see it as a film. There were a lot of differences, but the main scenes were taken straight from the book. Much of the dialogue was the same too, which is good because most of the viewers are fans of the books.

 It was refreshing to see Anastasia being funny and Christian not being so demanding all the time. I will have to agree with the mixed reviews coming out though, some things were better in the book and some were better in the film. Maybe they will look at the reviews for this movie and take them into consideration for the next film, the adaptation of the second book, “Fifty Shades Darker.”


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