50 shades of awkward

Movie does not live up to reader expectations

BY ELAINE GEROU
MANAGING EDITOR

fifty_shades_of_grey_australian_posterRating: 6 out of 10
Duration: 125 minutes
Rated: R

Most movies do not live up to the book, and the same is true with “50 Shades of Grey.”

Sam Taylor Johnson directed “50 Shades of Grey,” based off E. L. James’ novel, which premiered on Feb. 11 and had a nationwide theatrical release on Feb. 13. Dakota Johnson starred as the main character, Anastasia (Ana) Steele, and Jamie Dornan played the rich, CEO, Christian Grey. Although the movie received mostly poor reviews, it brought in $252 million as of Feb. 16, according to Film School Rejects.

The film begins just like the book, with Ana getting ready to head to Seattle to interview Mr. Grey on behalf of Ana’s best friend, Kate Kavanaugh, played by Eloise Mumford, who caught the flu.

Ana does not need to wait for the interview once she arrives at the sky scraping enterprise like there is in the book, and not all the employees are blonde either, showing inconsistencies. What was peculiar about the interview though was the tone in which Johnson portrayed the scene.

In the book, the tone was serious and formal, but the film made the scene humorous with awkward tension and how Ana behaved, asking Grey questions. The sexual tension was also flaunted in this scene, while it was hidden in the book. It is no doubt that was done for the audience, as everyone obviously comes to see “50 Shades of Grey” to see kinky, sexy, desire-filled tension between the actors. By doing so, it made the interview unrealistic, but it was one of the most entertaining scenes.

The scene at the bar had the same tone was portrayed, while it was completely opposite in the book, and was again one of the best scenes in the film.

After the interview, there was another inconsistency with Ana and Grey using first names upon departure, with the elevator doors closing. In the book, this did not happen, but in the movie, it helped the movie tie together, because a similar scene was used at the end.

More inconsistencies emerged with how Grey and Ana met again at the hardware shop where Ana works. In the book, Grey came up to the counter, but in the film, he spooked Ana standing in the middle of an aisle, as if he were waiting for her there, which was again, unrealistic and made Grey seem creepy.

Then, Johnson seemed to overemphasize the men in Ana’s life being into her, but what was extremely disappointing to females in the audience was that all the guys attracted to Ana were better looking than Christian Grey. Dornan is a good-looking guy, but Paul, Ana’s co-worker, Jose, Ana’s friend, and Elliott, Chritian’s brother, were all better looking than Christian, who is theoretically scripted to be gorgeous, where women practically drool over the sight of him. One person the director did get right with character choices was Kate, as she was more beautiful than Ana, but she was about the only character he casted well overall.

The first date in the movie was also the second date in the book, where Christian takes Ana in a helicopter to Seattle to his apartment. This is where Christian proposes for Ana to be his submissive and she tells him she’s a virgin, so naturally, he takes her to bed to fix that problem. This scene shows visible leg hair on Ana, which was not disclosed in the book, as Kate made her shave for the date in the book.

The film trudged on with sex scenes sprinkled throughout the plot with little conversation and ended with an abrupt, cliff-hanging ending. Moviegoers were left unsatisfied, nicely leading into the sequel coming out in 2016.

The film “50 Shades of Grey” was entertaining enough to keep viewers waiting to see what is next, but dragged in the middle, being filled with background music and sex. This book to film conversion is comparable to “Twilight,” so readers may want to stick to the books, but those who did not read the book and are into dramatic, sex-filled relationships would likely enjoy the film.