Well its only the most anticipated movie of the year, this side of the decade, so of course I had to see this… twice…just to be sure. As you know, I am fond of the books for its escapist nature and kinky fun. And Christian Grey of course.
One thing I always maintained was that the film has to be better than the books, for the simple fact that the book was a mess at times, the storyline, void in parts, and prolonged in others. Still, I liked it for its mindlessness. The film surpasses the book for definite. It cuts through the bullshit and gets right to the heart of the narrative. It does a good job of laying out the story and at the end, it gets us right in. I literally had a WTF?! moment. I knew it was coming, and I was a little sceptical about that scene because its such that anyone can easily fuck up, thankfully, it wasn’t.
Story-wise, the movie gives us somewhat more than the books, in the sense that it keeps one curious for the entire length, if you haven’t read the books you wonder what’s coming. If you have you wonder what the next scene will be, and how well executed it’ll be, if it’ll stay true. The sex scenes were tastefully done, another thing that could have gown awry but didn’t. There was a build up in every scene, a suspense and a little wonder. The soundtrack was exquisite, the songs came on at just the right moment, and served as another point in the story. However, Anastasia needs some nice underwear. Christian needs to invest money in some silk undergarments for her. Paging Agent Provocateur!
The characters? Perfect; Dakota Johnson couldn’t have done Ana Steele any more justice if she tried. Heck she made me love her as Ana. We don’t see any of Ana’s annoying inner goddesses and subconscious dialogue, rather, this is communicated through her littles laughs and comedic timing, which is rather right on par and funny. She is annoying enough, funny, in parts very, and displays just the right amount of naïveté. She is however, a lot less of a mess than the character in the books. She didn’t cower in the presence of Christian as Ana in the books is prone to doing. She’s on an equal wavelength despite her naïveté. I guess not knowing who she was prior to this movie also helped manage expectations, which she exceeded.
Christian Grey; I was always, always, always convinced that Jamie Dornan was the perfect person to play CG, he was right on point, sharp and slick, witty, and cool. He wasn’t always thrown by any defiance from Ana, as he is prone to doing in the books. He is removed and cold at times, just like CG was in the book, but he is human and romantic despite the armour he has on. Naive even. He is a slow nice burn as Christian Grey, as cold and warm, some aloofness but with that something Christian Grey. I couldn’t possibly see Hunnam in this role. Grey enjoys the stubborn side to Ana, even fascinated by her, and it gives the adaptation good gumption.
The very famous red room of pain is well executed, all of Christian’s tricks and kits, the complicated positions… all masterfully captured and very well done.
Overall, it was a nicely executed version of the first book, the cinematic element lifts the narrative, making each scene is immediately engaging. There is no wild deviation from the book therefore, that it stays true to the story and even better conveys it, is no doubt credit to Sam Taylor-Johnson. It won’t be to everyone’s liking as the reviews have shown, but then again, it isn’t a film made of the critics. So there.
Go see it.