Fifty Shades of Grey
Having already sold a staggering 100 million copies, Fifty Shades of Grey seemed ripe to become a ready-made blockbuster hit. The casting of the two leads seemed to become a story in itself as more people were linked to the roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele than those linked to dating Taylor Swift. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson were eventually picked for the potentially poisoned-chalice roles – a somewhat surprising choice, as many fans were expecting household names.
The sole focus of the film is the relationship between the two protagonists, as we follow the stories of the shy and timid Anastasia and the mysterious and rich Christian Grey. The reliance on the audience caring about the unorthodox nature of their relationship means that if you’re not engaged, there’s very little else offered here. The performances are more wooden than the crew of Thunderbirds, and even unintentionally hilarious, as some of the dialogue crudely resembles Jay from The Inbetweeners dressed up in a grey suit. The mysterious veneer of Mr Grey is soon dissolved into a lifeless, bland persona that would make Nick Griffin look like Ryan Reynolds. It’s difficult to know whether it’s Dornan’s acting or the plain dullness of the original character that makes the performance so tedious to watch.
The tone is the one aspect that does add a glimmer of interest, as it has more in common with a gripping horror film than any kind of generic rom-com. The sex scenes are clearly one of the main pulls and the build-up towards them is toe-curlingly intense, an experience that almost feels like you should be watching from behind a pillow. Yet there is also an overwhelming sense that the adult content feels clunkily chucked in, in a desperate bid to give the story an edgy twist.
Although the book may have broken all sorts of records, the film does very little to show why. The performances are wooden and do nothing to ignite the stale plot. While it may contain themes that will give rise to accusations of being controversial, the main crime the movie is guilty of is being achingly boring.
Fifty Shades of Grey was released nationwide on 13th February 2015.
Watch the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey here: