Fifty Shades Of Grey is film that is based on the popular Fifty Shades book trilogy written by E.L. James. The film is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson who has directed only one other feature length film in the past, Nowhere Boy (2009) as well as a few other short films. Fifty Shades Of Grey stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a young literature student who ventures to Grey House which is a company owned by the handsome millionaire Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan. Anastasia’s visit starts with an interview of Mr. Grey who later becomes obsessed with Anastasia after she leaves, seeking to control every aspect of her life.
I have not read the novel Fifty Shades Of Grey at all but for a film which is based on a book the plot is fairly straight forward. We see Christian Grey pursue Anastasia for the opening act and then towards the middle starts a strange relationship with her that involves a sexual contract that satisfies Christian Grey’s need for control over everything in his life and of that of his partner who must be willing to submit to his every request.
Fifty Shades Of Grey has a lot of awkward dialogue and phrases that are spoken by characters throughout the film. The two main characters have some of the most awkward interactions I’ve seen on screen and for two people who are meant to be obsessed with each other I didn’t really see why it was so awkward all the way throughout the film. Some of the lines are so cheesy and some are so out of place that you can’t help but laugh at what is being said on screen especially when the two first meet. There’s even strange moments where characters would just stare at each other which made it worse.
But it’s not actually that bad though, the films awkward tone made this somewhat better to watch and when coming out of the film I had a lot of fun with it in the end. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film going into it but I would say it was definitely not as bad as I had anticipated, mainly due to seeing some review scores and in particular the IMDB rating which I think is incredibly low for what the film was in the end.
In terms of the directing from Sam Taylor-Johnson it isn’t the best I’ve seen at the cinema and at times I felt the film had the feeling of being a TV made movie. It did had some nice sets though, great costumes and the use of different colours in different scenes helped a lot with the presentation of symbolic moments in the story. It’s just a shame really that the dialogue holds it all back because characters seemed a bit, well awkward the whole way through. I can’t tell if better direction could have helped, at the end of the day they just say the same strange lines but maybe it could have been less awkward somehow, people in the cinema I was in were laughing at seemingly serious moments which is weird really.
Actors were all good, I haven’t really scene much from the two leads in the past but Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan both were good enough for what they had to deal with. I’m hoping they can both get better roles and characters after this film because they might go onto something great if they had some good dialogue and direction behind them. Other actors who stood out were Eloise Mumford who plays Anastasia’s roommate, Marcia Gay Harden (The Newsroom 2012) who plays Christian Grey’s mother and everyone else I have forgotten already. But the focus really is on the two leads who do well enough, other characters just have a few moments here and there but nothing notable really.
The use of music was good, there are songs here and there to make certain scenes feel more special and others not so much. Music which appears in the world of the film such as when Christian plays with his piano is always sad all the time and probably reflects his character. While the music that is played for the audience and not inside the world of the film is more upbeat and kind of more sexual in tone as well. Environment effects are also good, lots of rainy days for when the characters are indoors and the lighting on the sets is also nicely done. A lot of the rooms and apartments look very nice to live in and even the playroom is very colourful.
Overall Fifty Shades Of Grey isn’t a bad film in the sense of being the worst thing someone would go and see. I mean I had fun with it and didn’t mind it once it was over. But it’s far from great, the dialogue and the awkwardness between the characters really keeps it from becoming anything good or great. In that sense it puts Fifty Shades Of Grey into the area of awkwardness and leaves it as just a very average film experience. Fans of the books might enjoy it a bit more than others will, but it’s still fairly average nevertheless.