It seems that the release of the much anticipated ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ has caused quite a stir in Hollywood. Receiving mixed reviews from critics, the novel itself started out as Twilight fan fiction written by the British Author E.L James who quickly shot to fame in 2011. The public were overworked and hungry during the 2011 UK recession, but their hunger for food quickly escalated into something else (coughs.) It seems that the something was ‘Fifty Shades.’
When it was announced that a film was going to be made, and Dakota Johnson would play the role of Ana Steele, people were sceptical. Others feared that her acting might resemble Kristen Stewart’s abysmal performance in the Twilight trilogy. The question is, was she truly terrible? The answer is no. Considering how irritating the character of Anastasia Steele is in the novel, the film gave her a more likeable side. Dakota Johnson was well suited to playing the clumsy student turned submissive. Gone are the cringe worthy utterances of ‘oh crap’ and the constant reference to her inner Goddess as she portrayed the character with an edge of vulnerability. Casting Christian Grey was more difficult, when thousands of brooding middle aged women already had fixated ideas of what he should look like. Blonde, first choice Charlie Hunnam didn’t stand a chance when he was initially cast. Some claimed that he looked wrong for the part, and he wasn’t attractive enough and he backed out of the contract just one month after the initial casting was announced. Social media went into uproar when a replacement had to be found and there was talk of casting the likes of Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds. It seems that the public already had a firm favourite. Over 100,000 people signed a petition to cast the then 36-year-old Texas born White Collar star, Matt Bomer as Mr Grey. He had everything; a chiselled Grecian profile and piercing blue eyes. As a gay actor, he probably wasn’t even considered for the part. Even in this day and age, it seems that it’s still not acceptable to be openly gay and ‘out’ in Hollywood. (Even if you are beautiful and talented. His time will come.)
In November 2013, Northern Irish model and actor Jamie Dornan (best known for his role in the BBC TV series ‘The Fall’) was named as Charlie Hunnam’s replacement.
So how did the film work out?
It was surprising to see some familiar faces in the form of 1995, Pride and Prejudice’s Jennifer Ehle, who played the role of Ana’s Mum. Despite the stir of Rita Ora being cast as Christan Grey’s adoptive sister Mia, her screen time was clipped to the minimum.
The film did have a few ‘laugh out loud moments’during the main characters’ first encounter, as Mr Grey is seen stocking up on masking tape, rope and cable ties in the DIY shop where Ana works. “You’re the complete serial killer.” She states. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
The cinematography was pretty (even beautiful) in places, as Sam Taylor-Johnson’s attention to detail was clear when filming scenery (not BDSM, *awkward cough.*) However, the desperately lacking plot let the entire film down. The books were heavily focused on the BDSM relationship between the two main characters, but of course the sex scenes were tamed and subtly done for the cinema screen. Instead, we were left with Jamie Dornan’s jerky and slightly wooden acting and average body, while Dakota Johnson managed to hold the fort during the entire film. Sometimes it felt like a spark wasn’t there between the two leads, but I suppose Christian Grey ‘doesn’t do relationships’ anyway. He’d rather play in his ‘red room of pain.’ (Shudders.)
-Was it a bad film? No it wasn’t, but was it over hyped? The simple answer is yes. It was Fifty Shades Of Overrated.
Mr Grey wont see me now.
©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014