Monday, 16 February 2015

Fifty Shades: The Good and the Grey areas

It broke records this Valentine’s weekend and proved that book adaptations are still well and truly the in thing with regards to Hollywood, but does Fifty Shades Of Grey live up to the extended mass hype it’s been receiving ever since it was announced?

Following my reviews on both Filmoria and MovieMarker, I thought I’d give a little rundown of the Good and the Grey points of the film, and would love to get your opinions on what you thought about the movie itself.

The Good

It may come as a surprise to many, but Fifty Shades does in fact possess some redeeming factors, albeit slim pickings. Assumptions will have been made with regards to this particular film resulting in car crash moviemaking, but in truth there are a few positives to be had.

Direction and Cinematography - Sam Taylor-Johnson and her team must be credited with the overall look of the movie. For one that is drenched in such a dark and disturbing focal topic, the aerial shots of Seattle, coupled with the vibrant and modern interiors of the Grey buildings are a delight. The film is exceptionally shot and, even within the realms of the red room, adds that extra depth to the proceedings.

Dakota Johnson - I'll admit it, I feared for Johnson out of the leading pair, but in fact it is she who comes out unscathed and with an air of positivity surrounding her. In her portrayal of Ana she remains an independent and often naive entity, only to evolve into a curious and sexually curious young woman, enticed by the lure of the unknown. It takes a lot for an actress to bare that much flesh for a substantial chunk of a film's duration too, so this only heightens the level of admiration for Johnson.

Danny Elfman's score - For one, it was a huge surprise to even see the name of Danny Elfman appear on-screen, but a welcome one all the same. As ever, his score adds that extra element to the film, hitting the right notes at the right time and providing some much needed character at times.

The Grey Areas

Story - Let's face it, much has already been said with regards to the quality of E.L. James' story and quite frankly it doesn't particularly transfer perfectly to screen either. What is a relatively dull, drab and simplistic story clearly doesn't particularly garner the utmost of sincerity and requires so much more.

Duration - At a lengthy 120 minutes, Fifty Shades is certainly a stretch considering its repetitive nature. Whisking us through scenario after scenario between Christian and Ana, interlinked with sex scenes and struggle, this is a tedious affair and one that definitely could have been cut much shorter.

Humour, both intentional and otherwise - Sam Taylor-Johnson can't be faulted for trying to throw in some humour for added spice, but it all-too-often misses the mark. Even further off the mark are the moments during the more sexual scenes when things can often get a bit laughable instead of possessing the intensity we all expect. 

Your Christian Grey - Like him or not, Jamie Dornan is the man to embody Christian Grey, but upon the first entry in the trilogy it certainly seems like he may not quite be the right person. Simmering, mysterious and dominating Dornan may need to be but he instead feels dull, monotone and incredibly flat. The only thing that saves him is his physical state of brilliance.

Rita Ora - What better way to finish on the negative notes than with the split-second appearance of one Rita Ora, black wig and all. The only thing to consider that's worse is the fact that she will return in a much bigger role in the future...

Do you agree with my thoughts of Fifty Shades Of Grey or am I completely off the mark? It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.