Grey is the new black.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard about the novel “50 Shades of Grey,” which started off as “Twilight” fan fiction and became a phenomenal worldwide bestseller. The story, which tells the tale of a BDSM relationship between 20-something billionaire Christian Grey and a college student, Anastasia Steele, has been criticized by many: some claim it glorifies abusive relationships and others claim that it is just poorly written and even for romantic fiction, ludicrous.
Given the book’s flaws, I was prepared to loathe this movie, but I didn’t. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson has done the almost impossible and managed to make a movie which is better than the novel. It isn’t great but given the material she had to work with, no one, no matter how talented was going to make a classic here. At the very least, Taylor-Johnson has made a movie which is pleasing to the eye, reflecting her background as a visual artist.
Also pleasing to the eye is actor Jamie Dornan in the role of Christian Grey. Dornan displays a lot of charisma and is convincing despite the shortcomings of the material. (For instance, one thing that is never explained is just how exactly a successful businessman billionaire manages to have so much free time.) While Dakota Johnson isn’t nearly as good as Dornan, she nonetheless has an air of innocence that is perfect for that character. Plus, she actually looks like an average college student rather than a model playing a college student.
Still, the main reason most will flock to this movie is for the notorious sex scenes that dominate the book. They are in here, but actually are surprisingly boring. Those looking for really steamy stuff best look elsewhere. However, for those wanting to see what all the hype is about, this is worth a look.