What do I and Christian Grey have in common? We both like gin. Although, Bombay Sapphire is my favourite and it would never be my back up gin. (Gin is very serious to me.) I would have thought the icy blue colour of the alcoholic beverage would have much suited Grey’s taste, since Bombay Sapphire is an icy blue colour, just like his heart. But no, ole Grey prefers Hendricks. But then again, that is even assuming he likes gin. He did order it during the film once, but to be honest, two hours later and I still know nothing about his character (other than his sexual preferences anyway.) His flat personality fused with his questionable attitude towards Anastasia, in my opinion, paints him as a very unlikeable character.
And then there is Anastasia. What do I know about her? I know that she recently graduated from college as an English literature student and she, well she, umm. Hmm, what do I know about her? I know that her best friend is called Kate. I know that she can drive a car, but to be honest, I don’t know much about her either. I guess the point I am trying to make is that even after two hours of watching the film, I still don’t know the characters. Nothing much has really happened either. The narrative very much felt like a game of poorly played tennis. Each time a rally would begin to form the ball would bounce out of play and into a random state of illogical storyline with a few sex scenes pushed in for fun.
I was once told that Fifty Shades was a fan fiction for the Twilight series and having been told about all the sexy stuff in Fifty Shades, I was somewhat confused as to how a teenage fiction about vampires managed to give birth to such a heavily sex based story. This soon became clear. Edward Cullen, like Christian Grey, is not likeable. Both Cullen and Grey seem to become infatuated with their love interests after only a short time. Is this romantic or creepy? A part of me thinks the latter. Each character is also marketed as ‘unattainable’ but Bella and Anastasia somehow manage to pursue relationships fairly early on despite this. At the end of the day the similarity goes beyond Grey and Cullen being able to play the piano as each book is based on the same thing; a relationship which can never work because the man has ‘issues’. For Cullen it is because he is a vampire. For Grey it is because of commitment issues and an unconventional sex life.
Am I trying to say I thought it was terrible? I guess so? Maybe? Possibly? But I can understand why some people would enjoy it. I mean I get it, Anastasia’s love is meant to prevail and change a man who supposedly cannot change because that is who he is, blah blah blah. I suppose there is some character development for Grey where this is concerned. After all he did sleep in the same bed as her and he never does that. (Gasps.) The bottom line is that he does start to change for her. I guess this would be more emotive if I actually believed that she loved him in the first place, but hey ho. The point is, even though I don’t know much about the characters I can still get emotionally involved to some degree, even if it is a fleeting feeling.
Plus we have to remember that many of the people watching the film would have read the books, and I am a strong believer that books are always better than films. Books are books for a reason. How is one going to fit the same amount of detail into two hours as a 545 page book can? (Yes, I checked how many pages the book has.) Perhaps the book paints a more in depth relationship between the two characters? Maybe the sex scenes are sexier? Perhaps both Grey and Steel actually have personalities?
So my overall point would be to not bother with the film. It isn’t terrible, but it isn’t good either. Will I ever watch it again? No way. Will I read the book? Maybe, but only maybe. If you are curious about what all the commotion is about, pick up a kindle or a book and read. If you just don’t care, pick up a penguin biscuit and have a good laugh at the awful joke on the packet.
Q. What do you give a sick penguin?
I would give this film twenty ★’s out of fifty… Shades of Grey