At The Movies: ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Is All Build Up And No Climax

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Fifty_Shades_of_Grey_40313‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

By John Lyons

I wouldn’t be a true cinema lover if I didn’t do a meticulous amount of research in my spare time.

And I certainly wouldn’t be a true film critic if I didn’t keep my ear to the ground at all times.

But over the past week, I didn’t need to keep my ear to the ground, because people were loudly condemning ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from rooftops.

Whether it was online, on television or on the radio, this film seemed to ruffle everybody’s feathers because of its supposed graphic sexual content that crossed the hypothetical ‘line’ by leaps and bounds. The stigma towards this film was really quite something.

And like a bloody fool, I believed just about every word that was said about the film.

I already had a picture painted in my head of a misogynistic film that glorifies an abusive relationship.

That was until yesterday evening, when I actually sat down to watch ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. It was then that something became abundantly clear…

Never in my movie-going career have I seen so much uproar over absolutely nothing. The sheer amount of hostility directed towards the film on the basis that it’s sexually charged is an absolute joke.

The main irony, of course, being that you would find more sexually risqué material in an average episode of Game of Thrones (the most popular series on television, might I add).

Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed in myself for buying into all this nonsense and more so for being stupid enough to assume that all of the detractors of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ had actually seen the film.

Needless to say, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is not what I thought it was going to be. Oddly enough, it’s more along the lines of a romance.

Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a literature student who is tasked with interviewing the young, handsome, muscular, billionaire business mogul Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for her college newspaper.

Whether Grey is rooted in reality or simply the ludicrous sexual fantasy of a writer who’s blissfully unaware of the term ‘character arc’ is open to your interpretation.

During the interview there’s an unspoken and unexpected chemistry between the two, and after another chance encounter, sparks begin to fly.

Grey wants to start a relationship with Ana, but in order to do so he must first reveal a ‘shocking’ secret of his, and what’s more is that he’ll only agree to enter into a relationship if she signs a contract that explicitly details the dos and don’ts of their proposed sex life.

Even though ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is billed as an erotic romance, it doesn’t really excel at either eroticism or romance.

The fact of the matter is, nothing screams romance quite like a legally binding contract specifying what can and can’t be done in the bedroom. And nothing screams eroticism quite like shockingly dull, emotionally disconnected sex.

There’s an abundance of plotholes throughout the film, most of which are to do with Grey. The film purposely avoids mentioning his line of work and he can inexplicably track down Ana at a moment’s notice.

Despite all this however, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ does have one singular thing that deserves praise – lead actress Dakota Johnson.

Her embodiment of Anastasia Steele not only implored me to keep watching, but actually got me invested in the rest of the film.

As soon as it felt like there was a genuine possibility of danger looming over her character, I became curious about Christian Grey, especially his motives, his backstory, and his true intentions with Ana.

As the love story and sexual tension progressed, hints were dropped about Grey’s troubled life, and Ana’s yearning for the truth becomes the driving force behind the film. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to discover the truth too.

But finally, after two hours, all of the couple’s suppressed tension and anger simmers to a boil, and it seems like all is about to be revealed…

Then the film suddenly cuts to black and ends.

Nothing was revealed. There was no third act. Nothing was resolved. There was no conclusion. Everything inevitably built toward nothing. I mean for god’s sake, the film is missing an ending.

Disclaimer: Yes, this is genuinely what happened.

If the credits hadn’t started rolling after the abrupt cut to black I might have assumed that someone plugged out the projector as some sort of cruel joke. But the only real joke about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is that it’s all build-up with no climax.

I suppose if there’s anything to take away from ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, it’s that even if you can’t tell a story to save your life, you can still author a book that sells over 100 million copies worldwide.


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