Starring: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Rita Ora, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden, Emily Fonda (Rated MA – 125 min).
Partially intriguing, soft erotica with a touch of class, it’s good but watered down for a mass audience. Give me Two Moon Junction over this any day.
What began as a single epic online fan-fiction novel turned into three best-selling books, now a globally anticipated movie, the phenomena surrounding this erotic journey is incredible. Film studios went into bidding wars to secure the rights with Universal Pictures winning, then the casting process had every hot right now young Hollywood star linked to the lead roles.
Fifty Shades Of Grey is the life-changing story of literature student Anastasia Steele after she agrees to replace her roommate on an assignment to conduct an interview with tormented billionaire Christian Grey. It’s something of an enlightening affair of hidden pleasures. Grey is consumed by control of all kinds, he has singular tastes that readers of the book will know exactly. There are no surprises here in the plot department, romance blooms as do the secrets.
With trust comes desire and the pair eventually cannot keep away from each other, this includes the revealing of the red room. Unlike the Red Room in Twin Peaks where people spoke backwards, this locked up sexual lair equipped with all sorts of wicked paraphernalia used to evoke complete ecstasy and more than a little bit of pain.
For all the controversy surrounding the antics of this couple in the act of amorousness, this will hardly raise an eyebrow. To me, the titillating retro classic Nine and a Half Weeks did it better. Having earmarked Dakota Johnson as a rising star during standout small roles in Need for Speed and 21 Jump Street, the daughter of Melanie Griffith and former Miami Vice pinup Don Johnson is full of nourished talent. Not a traditional beauty, her wide eyes give instant rapture, those moments of their first meeting is understated electrifying sexual tension. Keep alert for spectacular young Australian actress Emily Fonda as Martina delivering the infamous line, “Mr Grey will see you now.”
Jamie Dornan, a relatively unknown television actor who replaced Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam, does an admirable job. For the ladies, his shirt is off during practically every second scene. Fans of the book were skeptical at first look but in my opinion, 33 year old Dornan does the best he can with the ordinary self depreciating script. For the record I have read the first two books for ‘research’.
I have a feeling the thousands of mostly female fans attending opening week sold-out screenings around the world who have pre-bought tickets may be a little deflated when the final credits roll. That’s all I’ll say. The gasps may turn to whimpers.
Shane A. Bassett