Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

What started as erotic “Twilight” fan fiction has grown to be just as popular on the bookshelf – but could it possibly be as terrible as its “Twilight” on the big screen?

Both series sold over 100 million copies of their books, but the combined movie ratings from the first “Twilight” and “50 Shades of Grey” do not even amount to a five star rating, but instead a depressing three and a half stars, according to “50 Shades” only contributed a measly one star – a generous act of pity, I assume.

It was obvious to me that director Sam Taylor Johnson stylistically uses a lot of the same lighting and techniques as director Catherine Hardwicke did in “Twilight.” I’m not sure if this is because of the fan fiction origin, or because of other stylistic decisions, but either way, the color scheme is drab, and the lengthy close-up shots of changing facial expressions scream corny drama.

The chemistry between Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, and Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, was not convincing, and lacked something relatable. I, personally, draw no connections with a hardcore sex-craving control freak like Christian Grey, and could not fully understand his character through this portrayal. On the other hand, I have no problem having sympathy for a character like Hannibal Lector.

However, after learning that Johnson and Dornan are actually not too fond of each other in real life, the false chemistry became a bit more interesting.

The most impressive, and original, part of this film was the soundtrack. Ranging from Sinatra and The Rolling Stones to Beyoncé, the music is easily the most appealing part of the movie, sex aside. The soundtrack has new songs written specifically for the film, as well as old songs covered by today’s artists, and even old songs by old artists. Hopefully, five years from now the soundtrack will have become more popular than the movie could ever hope to be.

There is nothing notable that separates “50 Shades of Grey” from any other soft-core adult literature, and the film will be easily cast aside, despite the number of times I saw Johnson’s bare chest.

Perhaps a better title would be my favorite line of dialogue from Christian Grey himself – “50 Shades of fucked up.”

1/5 Stars

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