Fifty shades of wasted time, money

Posted April 18, 2015


On Valentine’s Day weekend, I lined up outside of Sunset Mall’s AMC Movie Theater to see the highly anticipated sexual drama/thriller “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a widely successful novel-turned-movie.

Having read (most) of the novel (the writing was so awful that it made it incredibly difficult to get through it), I had decent expectations for this movie adaption. And my “decent” prediction was right.

“Fifty Shades” tells the story of naïve Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson), a college virgin who, as a favor to a friend, interviews a filthy rich and gorgeous 27-year-old chief executive officer Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan). Ana discovers, as she grows closer to Grey that he is into sadism and masochism, and she reluctantly includes herself in his kinky activities due to her fear of losing him. The story follows the rollercoaster ride of Ana’s relationship with the controlling, freaky billionaire.

The movie wasn’t terrible; it was just extremely underwhelming.

Let’s start out with the good. I thought that Sam Taylor-Johnson did a pretty good job directing the movie and the cast, who were O.K for the most part. Also, big ups to the screenplay writers for not including all of the “Holy cows!” that Ana would exclaim throughout the book (thank God).

Some of the scenes were played out beautifully, and I thought that the actors did a great job with characterization. I thought that maybe Dornan could’ve been less soft and tougher like I imagined the controlling Grey to be, but he still performed pretty decently.

In my opinion, the winner of this entire movie was the soundtrack. I thought the music fit the dark, seductive movie beautifully and kept me thoroughly entertained throughout the entire two hours of boredom.

I can guarantee you that E.L James’ novel would not have gained popularity if it did not contain its incredibly kinky/slightly abusive S&M scenes. The book had very little to offer otherwise. The writing in the novel was trash and so was the storyline. So when you take out those sexual moments, the story becomes incredibly dull, with extremely little of a climatic plot. That was the main problem throughout this film, and it proved to be a huge problem.

I could tell that Taylor-Johnson tried her best to do what she could with the novel adaptation. The cinematic “Fifty Shades” cut out many of the sex scenes that the audience was expecting, and left us with about an hour and a half of an incredibly boring story.

Besides the maybe, 15 minutes of sex, the story detailed Ana’s relationship with Grey: Grey taking her on helicopter rides, Grey taking her to meet his parents; Grey buying her new clothing, and such. That’s it. I feel like she made a good attempt at weaseling her way through the bad writing and trying to develop a story that the audience could enjoy. But without the kinky-ness, you don’t have “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

I just felt like nothing really…happened. It got to the point where I got so bored that I started counting how many unpopped popcorn kernels were left in the paper snack bag sitting on my lap. And the fact that I went to see this movie prime time is what kills me the most. I could’ve had a good lunch the next day by saving my $12 and waiting for this movie to air on HBO in a year or so.

In all, I would tell prospective viewers to save their money and time, because “Fifty Shades” will leave you cold and unbothered.

  • “Fifty Shades of Grey”
  • Released Feb. 13, 2015
  • Genre: Drama/ Erotic
  • Length: 2 hours and 5 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R