Material vs. Content of the Movie
I’m going to start this off by saying that I’m no way okay with most of what happened in the story, Fifty Shades of Grey. There were just so many issues that deemed unacceptable for me but I won’t go deeper about that in this post. Maybe you’re thinking why I even bothered watching the movie when I have issues with it. Simple, I want to know how they are going to translate and handle such a controversial book. Are they going to choose the road of romanticizing it? Or are they going to be bold enough and stick with the content and how it was presented in the book?
The greatest possible fear that I have in my mind with the thought of having this book being made into a movie was if Hollywood would romanticize it for commercial reasons. Because they just couldn’t do it and persuade/twist the public’s mind into thinking that everything is okay and acceptable with that kind of relationship like Ana and Christian. It wouldn’t be Fifty Shades of Grey if that happens too. But fear not, my dear Greysessed, the movie didn’t take that route. The movie making people presented everything as raw as the book and left it open for public’s own input. They didn’t shove it down the viewer’s throats that it’s okay to be involved in something like that and I admire them for doing just that.
They heavily focused on the sex scenes. I know that it’s the core of the story and relationship of Christian and Ana and I applaud them for mostly retaining the important sexual moments between the two. But once the sex scenes commenced it turned out to be one sex scene after another. Again, I know that there are a number of sex scenes in the book but they could’ve at least inserted breather moments in between those. Breather moments could have helped in setting the tone and pace of the movie and not giving the viewers some kind of a whiplash.
I know it’s a common concern for book to movie aficionados to note differences and scenes that didn’t made the cut. It’s an annoying habit, right? But hear me out first, on the previous paragraph I mentioned about breather moments. The email conversations in the book could be just that. The emails were highly important in this series because it’s the part wherein we see some development between the relationship of Ana and Christian. Yes, there were email conversations in the movie but it wasn’t enough to showcase their growth. I must say that if these emails were included in the movie and given much focus, it could’ve catapulted it into a better one. Small scenes like that could’ve added more to the entirety story.
But all in all, the movie is really the book.
Fifty Shades of Grey is Dakota Johnson’s movie! People who were dubious of her being cast to portray Ana’s role will be surprised with her performance. Your concerns about her will be immediately shut down right from the first moment Ana and Christian meet – the interview at the Grey House. Hands down, she was really the perfect actress to carry on the role of Ana. Not only was she brave to go through and act out those sexually and passionately driven sequences but she has the air of innocence, being highly curious that Ana had in the book and her sense of wonderment. Her gestures, facial expressions and how she carried herself was so Ana! Plus, she really got a laugh out of me in several scenes in the movie. Dakota Johnson’s performance is the highlight of this movie! She’ll leave you breathless.
With a handsome face and hot body, it was quite easy for Jamie Dornan to gather such a following and be on board of the Christian Grey crazy train. He’ll make you squirm in your seats probably because of two reasons: he’s so handsome and you can’t help yourself but to squirm or he’s got such an intense stare focused on the camera. Either of the two, I think Dornan managed to make the viewers squirm on their seats. Am I only one who felt like it was quite easy for him to step into Grey’s shoes? There were moments that it feels like he isn’t acting or something like that. But sad to say that it was towards the end of the movie that I fully felt the internal struggle happening within Christian Grey’s character. The red room scene was when I felt how torn he was on what he’s doing. Yes, he’s enjoying and gaining pleasure from whipping Ana but at the same time he sees Ana hurting. And crying. That scene broke my heart. Seeing him whipping Ana with his torn facial expression was too much. With Fifty Shades of Darker is already in the works, I hope Dornan will be able to develop and take his acting to the next level for his portrayal of Christian Grey. But he definitely earns a pat on his back for his valiant effort of bringing Grey’s character to life.
My favorite part in the entire Fifty Shades of Grey book was that scene wherein Ana finally stood up for herself. It was in that moment that her character showed enough strength and conviction to address what is really happening between. She showed that she isn’t okay with it. But at the same time, she’s so torn up about it because she fell in love with him already. In the movie though, it seems to have happened like in a snap of my finger. It lacked the punch that I was hoping to feel during that scene. Dakota and Jamie’s acting were there already but the whole sequence just jumped from this point to that which ultimately leads up to the final moment of the movie. Pacing. It felt rushed and wasn’t allowed to fully set in. I need the punch in the gut feel. I would probably love it more if prior to that big scene Ana’s sentiments were carefully built up already or they could’ve taken the route of how the book ended with an extension of a minute or two with a voice over that will encapsulate Ana’s thoughts and struggle in coming to terms with what just happened with their relationship. But, I also love what they did and how they approached the ending. That parallel Ana-Christian moment. Clever move.
Now, I’m just happy that Fifty Shades Darker is already secured of being adapted into a movie too!
Now, I'm going to talk about their chemistry. From the moment Jamie Dornan was announced as the one who nabbed the role of Christian Grey, I’ve been picturing him and Dakota out already. I immediately saw the chemistry. Studio releases the Entertainment Weekly photos and I went gaga over it. Eventually the trailers, movie stills and all those video clips are being released too. My fangirl heart is happy.
But nothing could’ve prepared me for the movie. Hot damn, Johnson and Dornan went all out and their chemistry was sizzling hot! I commend them for being so brave and dedicated in bringing their characters and this story to life. They didn’t hold any bars in their portrayals. Also take into account that they only have 9 weeks to shoot this movie, just wow. Sex scenes were explosive as hell and I’m sure fans and readers would be utterly satisfied with it. Props to director, Sam Taylor-Johnson! I truly believe that Sam was the perfect director to take on this job! She directed and presented the sequences in a very classy, clean and artistic manner and completely pulled it away from what (I think) most of the people is thinking regarding the movie's direction. Aside from those fans myself scenes, there were also laughable and cute scenes between Ana and Christian. Ahem, the "are you gay?" and bar scene had me giggling in my seat! Then we have the helicopter ride and the gliding! I truly love and adore those! There was just too much feels in that scene that even now as I’m typing this in, I can still feel it! That one could probably be my favorite scene in the whole movie.
Tunes in the Movie
It’s been days already since the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack which only means that I have it on my playlist and been listening to it for days already. The first time that I’ve finished listening to the full soundtrack, I can’t help but to praise it. All of the songs that they have included truly captured the mood of the book and their lyrics resonates the thoughts of the Ana and Christian. I love how the songs were arranged so seamlessly and the transition from one song to another ran so smoothly.
Another thing that impressed me is how the songs were appropriately and perfectly used in the different scenes of the movie. Especially, during the key scenes of the movie because it just added heat to the moment. But my two favorite moments in the movie were the parts when Love Me Like by Ellie Goulding and One Last Night by Vaults played over. It was certainly feels everywhere!
I’m wrapping this post up by saying that Fifty Shades of Grey will satisfy its fan’s cravings. The movie crew was able to retain the book’s core, the atmosphere, intensity and scenes that seem to be the ones most anticipated by the fans. It’s basically a movie that will cater to the needs and wants of the fans – fan favorite scenes stitched together to deliver a two-hour long movie. I’m sure fans will be thrilled to see how faithful the movie is with the book. Yup, that's it.
To those who already had the privilege to watch the movie, what are your thoughts about it? Please don’t be shy and comment below! I would love to know about it! <3