Sunday, February 15, 2015

50 Shades of Grey

Starring: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Marcia Gay Harden, Eloise Mumford
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Running Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Rating: R

The key to finding this movie remotely enjoyable is to set the bar low. Chances are, you've already formed an opinion about this film - maybe you read the book; maybe you've read all three; you had some issues with the casting; you're disgusted; you're intrigued... I went in with very low expectations. The book was underwhelming and the newcomer actors seemed to have very big shoes to fill. Suffice it to say, considering the material they had to work with, I thought the transition from page to screen was the best it possibly could have been.

Graduate student Anastasia Steele meets billionaire CEO Christian Grey. Something awakens inside both of them, a contract to become his submissive is presented and various sexcapades ensue. This is not one you want to watch with your parents. In fact, if lady full frontals, ass shots and bondage makes you squirm, you may want to sit this one out entirely. The sex scenes weren't as explicit as the book presented them, but you definitely get your fill.

The casting seemed to be a heated point of debate among the masses, but I enjoyed the fact that they were both newbies, and they each made the characters more likable and more human. Dakota Johnson (Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson's offspring) brought a beautiful dimension to the character of Anastasia. This was a raw, conflicted and emotional performance. Jamie Dornan on the other hand - NOT my type until I heard him speak and witnessed his presence onscreen. You can feel the tension and their chemistry. Kudos to the casting department for sticking by these two.

Should you see 50 Shades? Maybe. If you enjoyed the book, you may be disappointed in the film because it is different, but it's truly for the better. Let this film fulfill your curiosity. It is engaging, even if you try to resist.

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