I have not read the books and I am just seeing the movie for the first time in the privacy of my home over the Memorial Day Weekend. Not quite the way to honor our military… but ….moving on.
I have heard so much about this film. I started a new job in February and for the first two months a woman who is quite the librarian type who lives alone with her dog gave 20 minute recap of the books every morning for two months. The most consistent comments that I heard from die hard fans have been, they did not like that the film did not disclose how Christian Grey obtained his wealth, sex scenes were not over the top, and why her, why Anastasia.
After watching this film, none of those points matter. If you know my story, you know there have been some bruises about sex and trust. This film to me was about how tortured Christian Grey is as a man. Born to a crack addict prostitute who saw un-imagineable things by age four and who from what I gather had very dark and tragic things done to him. We have heard stories about those kind of children being sold for sex so their parents could get their crack, being burned with cigarettes, or beaten for pleasure – these are explicitly said at his parents house when Ana feels burns in Christain’s hair line – this is where Christian Grey’s defensive behavior, cut throat business tactics, his ability to read people, and his deviant sexual appetite coupled with his inability to love all come from. And at four years old, after having what was a dark life the Grey family adopts him into privilege and safety and as an adolescent Mrs. Robinson makes this fragile boy her “submissive” for six years between the ages of 16 and 22 years of age. Then fifteen women later into his adulthood and his rise to fortune and prestige in his own rite at the age of 26 here comes Anastasia, the Virgin girl with puppy dog eyes, that makes him feel safe, and moves his soul and he wants her.
How do I know this….oh I have lived a life readers, and when you understand how fucked up life can be at an early age, and you meet that someone that has a little “je nes sais quoi” you want to give them your world and your soul. His world happens to be that of luxury. His soul – that is where things get complicated because the princess life comes with the drawback of his demons. And the reality is he does not know how to love, and is challenged by the fact that he loves her. That person for me was the college BF and that elevator scene, you know the kiss, I had that moment after my college BF returned from an interview with the Clorox Company in San Francisco, and that kiss where he rushed through my front door on a little row house on 5th and O Street, NW Washington DC, and threw me up against the brick wall and kissed me with such purpose – scene was like a flashback. He wants her, no need to question why, she has “it.”
Unlike other women that may have been experienced, or that may have seen Mr. Grey and the opportunity to be his submissive as a role in the Disney fantasy that all girls grow up on, now with the revised version of “The Bachelorette” now selling fantasy to the next generation, Anastasia has an innocence about her and it draws him in – she literally adds color to his grey. He tells her he is “fifty shades of fucked up.” By the time she learns what that means, she has fallen for him. And so the saga begins. The fairytale is not quite what most women would sign up for, and that is a refreshing counterpoint in a Disney world.
I will not jump ahead and read the books. I will wait for the rest of the trilogy to unfold. But well done. It is unfortunate that people cannot see beyond the sex.
And now my two cents. Now I would have cast this differently – honestly the two actors seem like every day people – they are not what I would categorically categorize as standard Hollywood sexy, but perhaps that is a good thing. And am I the only one thinking – play room needs all new equipment – forgive me but I do not want my ass paddled by a paddle that has potentially spanked 15 naked asses. Same goes for the bedroom – as beautiful as it was, it would have been remodelled in a hot minute, no leftover anything in a billionaire world. I do not know where the actor that plays Mr. Grey is from, but he is obviously not American – please get him a dialect coach for the next two movies. And I read in the trades that actor Jamie Dornan is asking for more money to go full frontal in the next film – as naked as Dakota Johnson had to be for this one, please do not pay him more for full frontal his compensation should be equal to his female counterpart – but please do cut his bush, cause, hairy Johnsons are not very appealing on camera. Film is also a great conversation point for sexuality and pushing the limits of pleasure. Well done film, a fan has been born.
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