Movie Review: “Fifty Shades of Grey” fails at blending romance and BDSM

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Movie Review: “Fifty Shades of Grey” fails at blending romance and BDSM

Vincent Schultz, Managing Editor

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“Fifty Shades of Grey” took the world by storm in 2011 with the release of a novel boasting a blend between romance and BDSM.

Now call me square, but I was never aware of what exactly those letters stood for. Assuming this abbreviation is not general knowledge, let’s solve this mystery right off the bat.

BDSM is considered an overlapping abbreviation meaning Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism.

What’s interesting however, is that “Fifty Shades of Grey” doesn’t seem to have much of any of this. Instead, it takes a different route that might not have the best message for audiences.

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, “Fifty Shades of Grey” stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in the story of the twisted relationship between a student and a successful businessman.

The film follows Anastasia Steele (Johnson), a quiet literature student whose life is drastically changed following an interview with billionaire Christian Grey (Dornan). As Grey continues to probe into the life of Steele, she soon finds herself in a twisted yet exciting relationship.

Audiences anticipated that “Fifty Shades” would be filled with mature content, much like the novel. In fact, there were more than 20 minutes of either nudity of graphic scenes spread throughout the film, which seems rather lengthy. Despite this, the movie feels rather tame in comparison to other similar genres.

Films like Steve McQueen’s “Shame” or Lars Von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac” are violent, dark, and hard to watch. But this is for good reason. These films portray extreme sex and torture in a more realistic way and show characters much like Grey, stuck in a world of addiction.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” instead tries to take an emotionally disturbed character and turn him into a romantic prospect instead of a cautionary tale. Despite obsessing, stalking, and completely taking over Anastasia’s life, there is this desperate attempt to portray Grey as a character who just needs a wholesome girl in his life.

If anyone were to realistically find an individual like this in their lives, my advice is to get a restraining order and extra locks on the doors.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” isn’t exciting or racy. It’s not adventurous or new. “Fifty Shades” fails to accomplish anything besides setting a record for the amount of times the words “dominant” and “submissive” are used in under two hours.

I’m giving “Fifty Shades of Grey” 1.5/5 kernels.

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