Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Fifty Shades of Grey

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Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

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Cast

Jamie Dornan – Christian Grey

Dakota Johnson – Anastasia “Ana” Steele

Jennifer Ehle – Carla, Anastasia’s mother

Eloise Mumford – Katherine “Kate” Kavanagh

Marcia Gay Harden – Grace Grey, Christian’s mother

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The (awful) End

Let’s start at the end.

Like many viewers out there plus those letting out groans of “what the fuck?!” around me in the auditorium, I was appalled by the ending of Fifty Shades of Grey. It was so abrupt that it evoked audible reactions of surprise from some viewers in the cinema. In all honesty I never anticipated the movie would end mid-action. Practically mid-sentence. But it did. And it has to be one of the worst endings I’ve ever seen in film. I’m certain director Sam Taylor-Johnson thought she was being slick and creativly leaving it open for a sequel – but it backfired. She didn’t quite pull it off. The closing scene of this movie was a flop (pun intended) and a total (anti) climax – another pun there for your entertainment.

So if you think you’re in for an echoing lash of a leather whip or an emotional last speech, you’ll be disappointed. However, when it comes to confusion or left hanging dry, you might just be pleasantly surprised.

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Bored Games

I was excited. Really was. As I arrived at the cinema I felt frisky, and ready for some sinister saucy entertainment. I wanted Fifty Shades of Grey to live up to the populariry of the books, deliver a book-come-movie to remember.

..I, erm. I got bored.

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I can’t fault the movie’s opening; it started immediately with Ana grabbing her bag and leaving the apartment to go meet Mr. Grey. Plot wise, it jumps straight into it – there are no long, dull moments or dragged out talky bits. Viewers are pulled in to the action swiftly. It’s just the rest of the movie that bored me.

Fifty Shades of Grey is like a pair of scales. The scales stay on the same flat level for a while – then tip occasionally. For example:

Scales are level.

– Ana enters Christian’s ‘play room’
One scale drops.

Scales become level again.

– Ana meets Christian’s family
One scale drops.

Scales become level again.

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In a nutshell, this movie is about a shy virginal girl who meets a man who enjoys sadomasochism. But she falls in love with him. And they fall out about this. That is literaly your lot. Those who are prepared for heavy scenes of sexual torture should think again; the protagonist is introduced to a world of S&M but spends a good forty-five minutes of the movie “errrm”-ing as she decides whether to take part or not. And by the time she does take part, the movie is almost finished. And for those hornier viewers wanting a bit of penis – sorry to disappoint, but there isn’t much. No, no dick here as Ana and Christian ‘get jiggy’ but without graphic description. You do see the top of Dornan’s lunchbox and Johnson’s barely visible vagina (in the dark) – but that’s it. This movie is not as graphic as you’d think.

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You know those classic scenes in a movie where the action unfolds but as it ends, you think, “is that it?” – this was my reaction to one of the most crucial scenes of the movie: when Ana enters Christian’s play room. As he switches the light on and she enters the room with her arms folded, there is a nice tension. Johnson delivers where she’s supposed to; the wide-eyed rabbit walking into the trap. Points for her here, and then upon entering the room she has a feel. Fingers (pun intended) a few toys – then leaves swiftly after. The scene is over. Bit of an anti-climax in every sense of the word. The movie then continues with the soppy “I think I love him” bollocks, where I began to get restless. Fidgety. Bored.

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Adoring Dornan

Ok, I couldn’t help myself. Whenever Jamie Dornan was on screen in a close-up shot, I felt fully satisfied. The man isn’t the most incredible being I have ever laid (pun) eyes on, but let’s face it – he’s sexy. In fact, I was conscious of my vocal expressions during certain scenes. Whenever the camera closed in on his chiseled face and he was smiling, I let out a slight groaning noise. Christ, the guy and his girlfriend sat next to me must’ve wondered what the hell was going on. But hey, those cherry lips of his – I couldn’t help but breathe it all in.

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Dornan makes good use of facial skills (pun again. I’m loving this) throughout Fifty Shades of Grey. He does a great job of playing a serious character with a stern, moody look on his face which can melt into sneering or grinning instantly. The way he does it is great, I can’t fault the actor here. I found myself smiling at his sneering too – he’s a very expressive actor.

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Don’t Take Sandwiches

Before entering the cinema, I popped into Tesco and grabbed a few sandwiches. Chicken & Bacon and Chicken Salad.

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I can’t tell you how weird it felt to be munching one during a sex scene between the two characters. A slither of chicken fell from my sandwiches and plopped between my legs. Shortly after I saw Ana’s vagina between her legs, I could feel cold chicken between mine. This was an odd sensation. Again, Christ knows what the guy and his girlfriend sat next to me thought as I sat performing manic forward strokes to brush cold poultry and crumbs from between my legs. The sex scene ended and I was performing brisk forward strokes on my seat – not a good look.
The moral of my story:

Don’t take sandwiches with easy-slip fillings. It could be embarrassing.

Rita Ora – Why?

Why on earth did the producers choose to shove Rita Ora amongst the cast of Fifty Shades of Grey? It had to have been one of the most random of castings I’ve ever seen. Ora appears during the scene where Ana meets Christian’s family. She is seen bouncing down the stairs to greet them – and offers a maximum 2 lines. That’s it from Ora, her next screen moment being sat at the dinner table, before she fades nicely into the background and is not seen again for the rest of the movie.

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At first I couldn’t fathom how she was the only ‘mixed race’ member of the Grey family as everyone else were plain white – but realised the character Christian himself is adopted, so I guess they adopted her too. Still, the question remains: WHY? Why was Rita Ora in this movie?

– musical plug?

– they needed to throw someone recent & hip into the cast to shake it up, make it look good?

– there’s a wooden shack in a remote area somewhere containing a small cluster of B-list celebrities, who discuss amongst themselves who should be the next to randomly gatecrash a movie

In all honesty, Rita is more bland than brown pasta so I couldn’t actually give a shit – I just wondered.

Wax

..no, Christian does not drip wax all over Ana in the movie. But I sure wish she’d dripped it on herself in the form of a hair removal strip.

The first time the pair come into sexual contact, Christian slowly peels her clothes off. Then kneels down and slowly kisses her thighs, inching slowly upwards. “kinda sexy” I thought – until I noticed the woman’s legs. They looked like fucking pine trees. The way the light caught her legs was unfortunate, there was so much hair, I actually felt embarrassed for Dakota. Do these Hollywood actors not get to view the feature before it goes pubic – sorry – public? Unless they did, in which case the actress clearly wanted to go ‘au naturale’. I don’t know if there’s a word / phrase for a viewer like me, but I’m one of those people who spots things like this in movies. I have a good eye for detail.

Anyway Dakota Johnson, take note – use a better razor next time.

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Fifty Shades of Grey was quite boring. It is a simple love story about a woman – but not the man. Ana spends a tediously lengthy period of the movie fawning romatically over Christian who only shows interest in torturing her in his play room. That is literally all you get, with the odd bit of non-graphic sex. The movie is a portrayal of just how confused and unhappy a vulnerable woman can get when trying to secure a relationship with a man who couldn’t be less interested in doing so. And as such, Fifty Shades of Grey was Fifty Shades of Shit. But it’s the same with all books that get turned into movies isn’t it – they walk the fine line between awful and fantastic. Countless times I’ve heard people use phrases like, “you need to read the book before you see the film” or, “the film is better than the book”. I personally, have read a bit of the book – but got bored and left it. And the film was boring. Says it all. Yes, I had a few fun minutes of enjoying Dornan’s effective performance, but ironically – like a one-night stand – my hour or so of the hot male giving his all turned out regrettable.

Gatecrashing R&B singers, hairy female legs, sloppy sandwiches, even sloppier plot, and a sheer lack of intrigue made this movie very forgettable. I wasn’t expecting explosive scenes of handcuffed horny antics, I just wanted to be entertained as well as involved in a story. The director did a terrible job of trying to balance action and emotion, it is painfully obvious she tried to make it more about the story and less about the S&M. But it backfired and ended up dull, and tedious.

Complete with ‘up and coming’ actress who fades wonderfully into the background, this year’s most eagerly awaited movie just became this year’s biggest letdown.

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One comment on “Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. tetroid
    February 21, 2015

    okay, Ricky, now tell us what you really thought! heh. Quite good review really, balanced, thorough, honest. I look forward to more reviews from you. A few puns are appreciated, but don’t get too excited by your own cleverness, lest it become as tedious as the movie itself. 🙂 cheers, Geoff

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This entry was posted on February 19, 2015 by .
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