Warning: This review will contain spoilers.
I'll be honest - I don't know where to start with this review. I am almost afraid to post anything at all in fear of being judged and potentially ridiculed, but after being made to feel like an idiot all week for stating that I enjoyed this movie, I feel like I should at least explain why.
First of all, I should note that I have read all three books in the Fifty Shades trilogy at least three times each since 2013. With this in mind it is pretty safe to say that I knew the story line inside and out before going to watch the movie. However, many of the people who have contributed to the movie's long string of recent bad reviews are people who have openly admitted that they didn't read the books prior to watching (or not watching) the movie. Yes, even people who didn't read the books or watch the movie at all are giving it bad reviews. Sadly a lot of these people are the ones belittling those who did read/watch and enjoy the books/movie.
So why did I enjoy the movie? Well, I mostly enjoyed it because I felt that it did a wonderful job at bringing the first book to life. When I first found out who would be playing Ana and Christian on screen I was initially disappointed, but I was more than happy to wait and see how they would perform. Perhaps I was expecting them to do a terrible job, because when it came to watching them on screen I was totally mesmerised. I must admit that I do feel as though Jamie Dornan could have been slightly more convincing in his role as Christian, but in terms of physical appearance he was better than I had imagined and hoped for in the beginning. As for Dokota Johnson, I absolutely adored her performance. She is a brilliant actress with an incredible physique and breathtaking beauty. (To all those people making comments about Dakota needing to have bigger breasts because she looked like a flat chested boy - shame on you for making beautiful women everywhere question just how naturally gorgeous they are!).
Anyway, where was I.. Oh, yes! Another of the many reasons that I enjoyed the movie was because it DID NOT glamorize abuse in the way so many people keep stating that it did. In fact, as someone who has personally been drawn to abusive relationships in the past (emotionally, not physically), I actually found the movie in particular to be quite empowering to women. I mean, the fact that Ana not only didn't sign the contract that Christian had drawn up for her, but continuously questioned it and the reasons behind it shows that just because you think you're falling in love with someone doesn't mean that you should do "anything" to hold onto it (something a lot of young girls seem to believe for some reason). I also noticed that Ana wasn't willing to give up her own ideal of a relationship (that being "hearts and flowers"), as she brought this up several times throughout the film. Most importantly though, after the abuse scene towards the very end of the film where Christian beat Ana six times with a belt after she had asked him to show her how bad his version of "punishment" could potentially be (a scene in which the whole cinema went silent, as Jamie and Dokota's portrayal of that particular moment meant that you could physically feel Ana's pain as she lay there on the table), Ana point blank told Christian "you will never do that to me again" before ultimately leaving him.
Now I'm sorry, but if you still think that all the above "glamorizes" abuse, then who is the real idiot here? (To be clear, I'm not calling any of my lovely followers an idiot, I am merely stating that I for one am not).
This movie is based on the first of a series of fictional books, which were loosely based on fan fiction and the BDSM lifestyle. Neither the books nor the movie are meant to depict a realistic interpretation of the BDSM lifestyle, or a healthy relationship for that matter. I understand that, perhaps for young teenagers, it might be hard to not to "glamorize" such a fantasy, but for a mature audience (of which the book and movie were created for) I don't understand how one can not easily differentiate between fiction and reality in this way.
Long story short - I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It removed most of the cringe worthy moments that I detested from the books (Ana's internal dialogue for one), it was surprisingly witty and funny in ways that the book sometimes wasn't, the chemistry between Christian and Ana was undeniably fun to watch, and the pain that the characters went through (Ana in particular) was both raw and real to a point where it almost made it hard to watch.
If you didn't read the books though, chances are you probably didn't enjoy it. My partner, for example, hated every moment of it, and takes every opportunity to let people know how stupid he thought the movie was. He didn't hate the movie because he thought it glamorized abuse though, but simply because he didn't feel the movie had a real plot - not understanding of course that the movie was only the first chapter of a three part series, and a continuous plot.
I feel like there is so much more that I could say about this movie, but for now I will leave it here.
What were your thoughts on the Fifty Shades of Grey movie? Will you be seeing the sequels?