Film Review|| Fifty Shades of Grey: A Lesson in Communication and Consent
February 13, 2015
I’ll be the first to admit that I read the Fifty Shade of Grey trilogy in a 48-hour time span. (I will also admit that I’ve read all three at least three times. I’d just finished undergrad and I had nothing to do.)Anyway when I found out that Focus Featureshad acquired the rights to the books for film, I was presently surprised. In my opinion Focus consistently turns quality films, and when Charlie Hunnam was initially cast I was ready to purchase my ticket immediately!
To what could have been le sigh
Sadly, as you all know the beautious man dropped out and was swiftly replaced by Jamie Dornan. I was less than impressed. No tea, no shade but the last thing that butters my roll is a smedium sized white man.Nonetheless like millions of red blooded women globally I was still intrigued and I found myself at a late showing yesterday evening to see what the film was talkin bout.
First and foremost, the writing was surprisingly witty. Instead of making Anastasia Steele the annoying whinny lip-biting twit that she was in the books, screenwriter Kelly Marcel made her a bit naive but still enjoyable. Anna is a woman with characteristics that I recognize in myself and I’m sure many others can relate to.
Sam Taylor-Johnson as director was also a fantastic choice from the studio. We see mostly all of Dakota Johnson’s (Anna Steele) nude body. (Women’s bodies are normally overexposed in films). However, from a woman’s gaze it wasn’t callous or garish. Taylor-Johnson made it sensual; giving a squeamish American audience the opportunity to get comfortable with the nudity right along with Anastasia. (We also got to see a bit more man parts then normal. Not the whole peen thankfully because GROSS, just a peek.)Dakota Johnson is actually a pretty good actress. I think it was important for the film that Johnson wasn’t well known. She’s able to embody Anastasia without any of the misconceptions that the audience may have placed on her has she been more famous. Likewise Jamie Dorman, though not my first choice does a damn good Christian Grey. He’s stoic, emotionally withholding, detached and damn sexy. Its odd that the duo works so well onscreen together, because its clear that they are painfully awkward around one another in real life
Still, the film like the books has its “chile please” moments. Anna does get a tad melodramatic at times, but it’s forgiven because we’ve all been there. Love and youth don’t always bring out the best in you. Also I don’t care what type of situationship you’re in, D/s or otherwise, if someone shows up out the blue on in a new state, run to the nearest police precinct and file a restraining order. Some stuff only makes sense in films. (Also: The casting of Christian’s siblings, um no ma’am Rita)
Despite all of this, the film got a lot right. Along with the newly improved witty Anna, the kinky sex scenes get two thumbs up from me!! Unlike Addicted (which I finally watched last weekend) these were not watered down snooze worthy encounters. No ma’am Christian Grey doesn’t play😉
I also applaud those involved in the film for making communication and consent focal points throughout the narrative. Though uncomfortable at times, the characters are not afraid to speak their minds and to share their thoughts and feelings. A lesson many of us could use. Likewise consent is HUGE in the film. In one particular scene Anna and Christian go over a contract concerning their sexual relationship.. As formal as that sounds, I thought it was important to voice. As my friend who attended the film with me so eloquently pointed out, “This is the fantasy of one particular woman, not of ALL women.” Everyone is different the point of communication and consent is to discover what your partners likes and dislikes are.
Overall despite my initially reservations Fifty Shades of Grey really floated my boat. It’s lady porn at it’s best. (Listen I even got into Jamie Doman as Christian and he ain’t nowhere near my type.) I say go see it. Take your girls or your boo, or hell take yourself if is Valentine’s Weekend after all. #treatyoself Who knows, you may even discover some things about yourself, or your partner that you didn’t know. Either way bring a moist toilette to cool yourself off.
Listen Linda! Why is the man not bearded in the film?!! Literally the beard changes the GAME
50 Shades of Grey is out in theaters this Valentine’s Day *hide ya kids*
xoxoxo Chocolate Girl in the City xoxoxoxo
PS: I really never got the uproar surrounding the books and the film. Are they the best things that happened to literature and cinema? Of course not! But some of y’all need to calm down and let grown people do and enjoy what they want. As a Black feminist my pet peeve is when other women (let’s not even get into men) try to tell me what I should and should not be into to. Boo, get yo life.