It was an entertaining film. I am surprised it was as precise to the book as it was. I was even more surprised how much I enjoyed it.
I am glad it got rid of some of the nonsense like ‘inner goddess’ and ‘long fingers’. Also silliness like no email or computer/desktop/laptop in the new millennium; which is ridiculous. At least here in America for a college student.
That is a direct result of not being Ana’s thoughts like the book. Getting rid of Ana’s narration did not change the film’s perspective because it focused on what is happening to Ana. Plus it would have been difficult to accomplish keeping Ana’s voice since, I believe, Dakota Johnson is in every scene. An additional commentary would have been overkill.
Dakota Johnson did a very good job being naïve which is what the character calls for. Ms. Johnson nailed the performance while still bringing sunshine to the role. Ms. Johnson is naïve without being stupid. I was fully engaged in learning all that I could about the character which was a fresh point of view. Plus her expressions more than told what she was thinking throughout the film. What she couldn’t say with her eyes, because she was blindfolded, she communicated with her body language. This is a high level of acting. Not just dialogue but also being able to convey a message with actions.
Christian is in fact all fifty shades of fucked up. His character is done well by Jamie Dornan almost as an anti-hero since we don’t see any of the other three villains in the trilogy. Not sure I really care why though he is that way though because Mr. Dornan is almost too standoffish. Ana is very likeable but Christian is mostly just a prick. Since there are no other physical villains (Mrs. Robinson is mentioned as are the 15 submissives in an impossibly short 6 years); Christian substitutes for the antagonist.
Some aspects of the story were sacrificed like her Seattle job which seems to have been written out completely. Since Ana is not rich like everyone else in the story that is a weird deletion. But they focus so much more on the love story.
These various plot points were probably sacrificed for factors like 1. time, 2. money saved since they didn’t need a full set that only would be used a few times this film but multiple times in the next two films also 3. provides flexibility to tell a better story with a wider audience in the sequels.
The opulence of the characters, scenery and story is missing from Jose Rodriguez. Jose is an oddball in this story. He truly does not fit. Moreover Jose didn’t have a chance with Ana sadly. Ana disregards him for years and is totally turned on by a rich guy. Equally though Jose seems to have squandered all his prior opportunities. Still it sucks so much to see that a regular guy like Jose does not even have a chance. While these circumstances are probably true to life it is sad to see nonetheless.
Kate was well played by Eloise Mumford. Still her role has been reduced here. The love story has pushed Kate out of Ana’s live. Just seems like a waste though since Ana’s best friend would/should probably play a bigger role in her life. Especially since they live together in two places. The other characters were truly background “flavor” to the tension between Ana and Christian. The main reason to lose the plot points; the focus was squarely on the relationship.
The sex scenes had sizzle. I was surprised and relieved that the ‘little grey=long finger’ did not make an appearance. But I am a guy and that is a basic guy response. The two main stars still managed plenty of story appropriate nudity. Viewers should be itching [or twitchy palmed -ha-ha] to try Safe, Sane, Consensual (SSC) or Risk-Aware Consensual Kink (RACK) play similar to what is in the film.
First they should know what those acronyms mean though.
And they need to know that nothing nearly as elaborate as the Red Room is needed to have some fun. I mean I have made a spreader bar out of PVC pipe and screw eyes. I think my True Value/Lowe’s/Home Depot bills was under $15 with velcro cuffs as well.
Sad that the negative aspects of impact play is what comes out in the film. As well as sadism masking as domination were still present. [Remember that Marquis de Sade spent half his adult life in prison].
However in real RACK/BDSM; safety is the first priority and make sure you know how to use what you are using. Before you use it. Read before you act.
Remember: Keep the scissors ready and handy.
And unbeknownst to crappy romance writers and most hardware worker; cable ties are horrible for restraint. This is why they aren’t used by law enforcement despite the economic advantages.
This movie is not instructional. Definitely not for BDSM; which is shown in its worst light. There are plenty of BDSM aspects which as harmful to participants. It is close to criminal for the “dominants” as well. It is not instructional. Anyone who is curious should consult the web before engaging in RACK.
Problem is it is even less instructional for relationships, since these two are non-functional and non-committal people. I mean neither of the main character has ever been in a relationship. Ana has barely if ever kissed a boy. Let alone a man who actually knows what a relationship is. And Christian has no idea what a real relationship is even though he was raised by two highly functionally and rich people. What? But honestly neither Ana nor Christian is ready for a relationship. Neither would understand would make it work. But off they go nonetheless.
Both Ana and Christian do a horrible job at being intimate. Essentially this is the first for both to this level of intimacy seeing how both are not used to working with another person. Christian’s obsessive behavior is the oil to Ana’s naivety which is the water.
The ending was appropriate and close to the book ending. But daring. I will be interested to see if they will make the entire trilogy and take the chance to improve on the trilogy’s nonsensical ending.
There are ridiculous stories coming out. Like this one:
I mean; the level and amount of sex goes down markedly throughout the series. These reports make Amelia Warner seem not as smart as the casual reader [which I doubt]. Because not only does the amount of sex decrease for the sequels but also the movie had a lot less sex than the book had.
But after Charlie Hunnam backed out of the original, I cannot see how the producers signed anyone on without a contract for the sequels.
Just a short aside; I do not think that either Matthew Bomer or Alexis Bledel ever [EVER] tried to get either of the main roles. First off, they are both far too old for either role. And no one has proof either of them wanted to be in this film. Yes, shocker; although the internet wants something that doesn’t mean it will actually happen. So sad.
OK, I have gone a little tangent to the real review. I enjoyed the film. I look forward to DVD release. I look forward to seeing it again but not likely in a movie theater.
Good Start. Let us see what develops from here. E.L. James; your move Madam.