This blog post was originally intended to be my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie. It will be, but after all of the internet savaging from both sides of the fence on the subject matter, I wanted to get my point across.
I rushed to my local picture house two days after the movie was released. I wanted to love the movie and everything about it. I think most people were worried it wouldn’t have the right mixture of story and sex.
They were right to be worried, for me there wasn’t enough of both. I was astounded at actually how much nudity there was in the film. Now, I’m all up for nakedness, but I was a little sad at how much story we missed. I think most fans thought there wouldn’t be enough sex…
Dornan as Grey was always the wrong choice for me personally, but I’m not sure they would have ever have got it right to suit everyones tastes. FSoG fans are nothing if not precious over who played the part of Mr. Grey whilst they were reading. Dornan has made his personal views on BDSM quite clear in the media, that has spoilt my ideology on who could pull off such a part. I feel he has held back from playing the role to the fullest.
However, the casting of Ana made the film, she was perfect. My friend pointed out that the film was almost a dark rom-com in places…I couldn’t agree more. We were both a little taken aback that the word vanilla was never used during the movie, when it played such a big part in the book.
In summary, I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. The producers have successfully pulled off a rather shocking film adaptation…I think that was probably their goal, they’ve achieved that much. In doing so they’ve skipped out rather a lot of story, a story that I rather enjoyed. I would award it three stars for shock factor at least.
I read the books at the peak of their hype. I was a field marketing manager at the time, and I’d never seen such a phenomena. We, as a company, were contracted to place books on shelves in the correct chart position for a leading UK supermarket, keeping them topped up. During FSoG’s peak phase this was impossible, we were only contracted to do so many hours a day on that task…those hours simply weren’t enough to keep that section of shelf even half full.
I read all three books within a week, I can’t say I was wowed by the writing, okay not even a little bit impressed. I’d have to agree with the critics and say the language was childish, some sex scenes were unrealistically written, and the dialogue a touch unoriginal and repetitive. I couldn’t stand Christian Grey for the most part of book one, but there was something that kept me hooked. Maybe it was knowing that there was more to the story than met the eye? Perhaps, it was wanting to watch Anastasia catch the uncatchable man? Whatever it was, the author did most of her job by keeping me reading.
There are hoards of people out there that hate FSoG, they will tell you every time you mention it that Christian Grey is in fact a physically and emotionally abusive, rapist. I honestly think that’s subjective. I never got the impression that Ana was being raped or abused. I think if you stepped back and read every smutty book with a strong male character and a weaker woman you could say the same for each one, it’s down to how you view it.
To say that FSoG promotes rape and abuse is down right ludicrous. That’s like saying that I promote biting, blood drinking, sleeping around, and murder in my books. Although, I do like a nibble every now and then ;). Or, if you want to go further you could say that any works of fiction containing evil, murder, and violence are promoting the contents therein. What I read when I read FSoG is clearly very different to what others have read. I saw a girl enraptured by a man, a man who most definitely and undeniably a control freak with some different sexual tastes. I didn’t see Ana resist his pursuits, I saw a girl who wanted a man enough to go along with it all in the hope she could change him. Guess what…I see that everyday.
To me, the FSoG series promotes compromise, Ana wants a ‘normal’ relationship, Christian wants a submissive. By the end of it all they both get exactly what they want somewhere in the middle. They are both consenting adults and I’ve seen people do stranger things in the pursuit of love.
I’m not misguided enough to believe that FSoG portrays a true reflection of a BDSM relationship. But then again, I’m also not misguided enough to believe that there are helicopter flying, twenty something, multi-millionaire CEO’s hanging around the roof tops of Seattle waiting to usher young impressionable women into rooms filled with whips and chains either. Much the same with Ana…looks like that, is a virgin, and never masturbated? Get real.
I think it’s very important to keep things in perspective. I feel like people are losing their shit over this book/film more than needed. I’ve stared domestic violence/abuse in the face, it’s a very emotive and upsetting subject. I didn’t see that within the pages of this book.
I do welcome all comments on this blog, in a structured way. I will not allow petty, nasty behaviour. An opinion and how you arrived at it would be constructive for either side of the argument.