It is difficult not to giggle and blush as one pages through the badly written, but oh so delicious book that is FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.
Fifty Shades of Grey is the erotic, bondage and sex fuelled romance novel by British author E.L James that made women around the world bite their lips and whipped them into a reading frenzy. Her combined novels (Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty shades Freed) have sold over 35 million copies in the United States, and over 70 million copies worldwide.
But what’s the big deal?
The cultural claim that it is “porn for women” is ridiculous. Erotic novels have existed since 1948.
Cosmopolitan magazine has spoken about sex since 1965 when a new editor set the magazine apart by frankly discussing sex. Carrie Bradshaw and her girls from Sex and the City have been openly discussing and doing all sorts of sex acts in the 1990’s. It was known as the most explicit show and opened so many doors and freed so many closed minded ladies.
Is it the bondage and S&M? That is nothing compared to the dark and violent leathery image you might have in mind.
But the thing about Fifty Shades is perhaps the man himself: Christian Grey.
A man of humble importance and his world of sex play. Many men were optioned for the role but in the end, Mr. Jamie Dornan won over everyone else, well that’s what the producers said. Garrett Hedlund, Chris Evans, Henry Cavill, Matt Smith, Ryan Gosling, Armie Hammer, Robert Pattinson, Matt Bomer and Chris Hemsworth were all considered for the role but none fits the bill (at least not to my standards, Matt Bomer came a close second, and François Arnaud in third but Jamie is leaps ahead of them as he was an underwear model and always played the intense sexy lover.) It is a shame however that the Irish born actor will not be sporting his enchanting accent since he adopted an American accent for the role.
Knowing the image he would have in this role, former model Jamie took up a three hour workout regime to stay in perfect shape and did over 500 sit-ups a day during shooting to maintain his abs. (And if this is your only reason for watching the film, you won’t be judged.)
Fifty Shades gravitates around the romance and illicit practices of Christian and Ana. Ana is the pathetically insecure girl, with a ‘Bella complex’. Remember Twilight? The Romantic Vampire film Saga that had everyone excited just a few years ago. Bella was the simple girl who fell in love with the vampire Edward.
Interestingly enough, this book was originally a fan fiction of Twilight. With this knowledge, it suddenly makes a lot more sense. It explains why Ana is so Bella-esque and why Christian is so tormented. And despite warnings to stay away, she still wanted him and all his darkness. Doesn’t that describe Twilight to the letter?
Watch the full trailer below:
Anastasia Steele is played by Dakota Johnson, who beat out a long list of well know Actress who auditioned. Being a bit more of an unknown than most the young women who were considered, she fits the role physically the best. Emma Watson, Scarlett Johansson, Kat Dennings, Olivia Wilde, Emilia Clarke, Margot Robbie and Jennifer Lawrence were considered along with Shailene Woodley, Elizabeth Olsen, Imogen Poots, Danielle Panabaker, Lucy Hale but all of these already had other commitments, just didn’t end up as favourites or were scared that it might destroy their careers.
The book is told in Ana’s head, which makes for funny moments but might not translate at all to screen. For instance, she often thinks about the goddess that she has in her head that pouts and argues and encourages Ana with all the explicit things. But this imaginary goddess will stay in Dakota’s head.
You should know that a woman directed the film. Sam Taylor-Johnson. Her previous work includes BAFTA Nominated film Nowhere Boy. And although she is not a well-known director, she is an award-winning artist and worked hard to get the job as the director. There is a reason that this is a good thing, Female directors are known to make gentler and ‘silkier’ films. The style tends to be feminine and there is a sense of grace in the work that they do, even with all the sex politics.
The fact that this book gets so many panties in a twist is not shocking; with an R rating it is understandable why people are raving.
Religious groups are already boycotting the film saying that it promotes violence towards woman and that it is advertised as a fairy tale. Although, readers of the book will know that Ana agrees to everything in a written contract and the so called violence is mild compared to things you see in other films with lower age restrictions. The fairy tale accusation is in fact true; they are trying to romanticize the whole BDSM lifestyle. But true BDSM people state that Fifty Shades is mild compared to what they find normal and that some of the practices are unsafe and gives BDSM a bad name.
This Valentines Day Weekend:
The guys out there can look forward to desperate and exciting girls before and after the release of the film; girls who read the books will be out looking for their own Christian Grey.
Despite his strange, um, extracurricular activities, Christian Grey sets a standard of gentleman behavior; buying her cars and expensive books, opening doors and taking her on helicopter rides. So be warned boys, plan big. Valentines day will need something more than just a card and chocolates this year.
While this film will run for it’s first couple weeks, ladies will be prowling around with the courage perhaps to do things in the bedroom that they wouldn’t have normally done. This, like the book, is a phase and will die down after a while.
Scenes to look forward to:
The first time
Ana is a Virgin, and when Christian finds this out, he intends to set things right. This scene with the Vanilla-esque “love making” will make for a pictorial scene. As far as ‘pretty’ goes in this film.
Or “The red room of pain” as Ana calls it. Her reaction to it, his reactions to her reaction and of course their visits there after. This is where the big drama lies. The reason for everyone’s curiosity and repulsion.
The glider and helicopter
Ana describes Christian as being like a little boy when he flies. The difference between the businessman, the sexual sadist and the boy will be elating. If Jamie can pull it off.
Christian defending his property
Christian has a thing about sharing, meaning he doesn’t. When one of Ana’s friends tries to make a move on her, Christian comes to the rescue. But not because he’s a hero, because he is possessive.
Her last words.
I’m not going to give anything away. But Ana’s last words in the book, is the best line in the whole book, some might disagree. But this forthcoming end is one of the best book endings that I have ever read.
My last words
This film, with all the bad and the good, will be groundbreaking for commercial cinema. It is predicted that it will completely shatter box office scores that might never be broken again but this might be an exaggeration. It is said to be the most anticipated movie of all time. And this, all because we’re oh so curious…