50 Shades of Sensory Delights

50 shades of grey 01The heat leading up to Valentines’ this year, got hotter than a raging inferno, all wrapped up in a stylish, sexy grey suit and a somewhat dull default white shirt (which one can’t argue, he wore exceptionally well), and a pair of smoking hot ‘come hither’ hypnotic grey eyes.  This phenomenon that swept the nation is none other than the enigma that is Christian Grey and his 50 Shades of *%!@# up.

Like countless other woman … and dare I say it, men, were drawn to the onscreen debut.  And why the hell not.  After delighting in the trilogy on paper, one can’t help but be inextricably drawn to indulge in an overdose of visual onscreen pleasures.  However that been said, I feel compelled to defend 50 Shades.

Whilst the paperback version absolutely held no cards back, I feel the general population had expectations of a replica onscreen and then low and behold held nothing back from criticizing the film when it failed to produce the very erotic nature of the books. Now I ask myself, surely they realized the film was screened in a public cinema with an R rating.  And last I checked, that meant a certain decorum of nudity and sex and certainly not exposing us to an elicit front row seat of the BDSM world.  Yes, it think this kind is reserved for a very different kind of cinema and rightfully so.

I, like many others, watched the movie 50 Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day in Sydney and naturally have been reading the copious onslaughts of comments circulating Social Media, the good, the bad and the ugly. Albeit the ‘bad’ seems to be making quite a dominant (no pun intended) splash, however I suspect this could arise from folks who have probably not read the books, think it’s distasteful, therefore don’t have the insight into the complexities that make up Christian and Ana,  have not experimented sexually,  are fairly conservative, or all of the above.  The unknown or taboo can tend to put people on the defense, but the film certainly didn’t deserve the degrading comments made about the sexual content.

So I for some unbeknownst reason now feel compelled to defend the story by confirming that I loved the books (a riveting read) and the movie was great. Being screened in a public cinema, I had no expectations of expecting to view explicit content, but what I discerned from reading the books is a love story, clichéd yes (heaven forbid, we indulge in a love story on Valentines Day).  A somewhat complex and interesting story that is Christian Grey and Anna Steele, but essentially a love story, with a large dose of spice thrown in.  And I’ll be the first to hope that a 2nd and 3rd instalment goes ahead and soon.  This might be my date for next year’s Valentine’s.

After reading a host of never-ending negative comments from ‘Variety’ Facebook page, I thought I’d ‘chuck in my two cents worth’, just because I can …

” I thought the books were awesome. I love Ana’s quirky sassy personality as she interacts with Christian.  I love his silent yet dynamic demeanour in the movie and alluring smile. The movie doesn’t disappoint when you look at it overall. Thought it was a fairly good depiction of the book, considering you have two hours to fit in so much complexity that is their relationship – a damaged soul, a wounded body,  a shy inexperienced girl, and a whole lot of sexual tension and intrigue, so much attention to detail depicted in the book and of course that undeniable innate desire to want to love and shelter someone who has known too much hurt in their life and if we’re all lucky enough to find such a person, that’s a rare thing.  At the end of the day, if you break it down and take the time to delve deeper into the story, it’s plain old fashion romance, it’s about love and the unusual ways we go about finding it or it finding us, holding on to it, basking in it and coping with all the obstacles that possible come with it.  Yes theirs is a somewhat unusual one and certainly messed up in some ways, but aren’t a lot of relationships in life.  As Ana so aptly puts it, Christian is her “50 Shades of *%!@# up”.  The operative word being ‘hers’.  Let’s face it, most of us have baggage and skeletons.  I once read, [ it’s about finding the right person to stick around and help you unpack ]. And this has stuck firmly in my mind.  I think rather apt.

We all go about finding love and sexual fulfillment in our own way. For those who are not into sex, nudity or BDSM, stop bad mouthing the film, just don’t watch it. It’s that simple. And of course the movie is not going to put on a show of BDSM in all its ‘glory’, otherwise we’d be watching porn in a very different kind of cinema.  And stop reading so much into the possibility that it encourages domestic violence or that it gives girls a false sense of what love entails.  If we’re going to go down that route we might as well ban all the ‘Cinderella/Pretty Woman’ type moves as well, because in reality, love and relationships are not a fairy tale and we know ‘that shit aint’ real’ and that’s certainly giving the wrong message to all the young ladies looking for it. Real life is far more complex than that.

The books and movie are fiction folks. It’s fantasy. Allow yourself to fall into it. Get swept away. Delight in the romance and sensual stimuli.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the show, as they say!!   Director Sam Taylor-Johnson, also choosing not to direct the 2nd instalment, I”m sure is not an indication she thought the film was dribble (as has been suggested), there could be a myriad of reasons for this decision, but all this speculation I feel is bordering on ridiculous.  We each have our own passions and desires and that translates into our movie genre’s and actors that we love. Doesn’t make it right or wrong or shitty or great, it just makes it our personal choice.

My only constructive feedback could be that the film failed to show some of the little nuances that made the books memorable. The quirky email interactions between Christian and Ana, the verbal sassy sarcasm, Ana’s inner voice playing a game of tennis with her mind; good angle, bad angel,  the sexual innuendo, Christian’s cute bossy ways.   Again some of which is always hard to visually depict on screen, hence reading the books is most certainly beneficial to gain a true feel for the plot.  I also hope the next script writer depicts more of the detail seeing as the 2nd book gets more in depth and will depict more of the essence”.

Having said all that, I think the fact that this movie has created such buzz, good and bad is awesome, not to mention shattering all box office records of earning already $160 million at the foreign box office over the Valentines weekend.  Not bad, I’d say. Yes, I guess there are a lot of curious viewers out there.

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