“50 Shades of Grey” is a film that I haven’t reviewed for a month. Watching a media microcosm arrive over such a morsel of a movie has been an odd. But, America didn’t suddenly become literate for nothing. We need to read kids fight for our entertainment, kids die from cancer or pedestrian sex acts to bother picking up a novel. But, how did a Twilight Fan-Fic writer end up creating the reason why your mom doesn’t let you borrow her Kindle?
Porn in entertainment has such a bizarre history in our great nation. Baby boomers still talk about the rise of Deep Throat and how that awfully shot adult film set the country ablaze. The difference between Fifty Shades and that film is 40 years and a better understanding of core audience metrics. Deep Throat was a porno and it knew to hinge a narrative on set pieces, not unlike an old serial. Evey 10 minutes, somebody’s getting something shoved somewhere. No politics and no poetics on sexual roles.
Americans have a right to observe sex in the open media marketplace that sells violence at a moment’s notice. But, the audience deserves to see better sex in their media. If you saw “The Lover” or “Lolita”, you’re in a paper thin minority. The mainstream doesn’t care about carefully crafted relationships or interesting insight into what appears to be deviant behavior. The average film goer wants to fulfill an experience that won’t act upon out of fear and uncertainty.
What does it matter if Anastasia enjoys Grey’s fetish? Some say that it making victimized women complicit in the torture aspects of S&M. But, that’s a rather juvenile way to look at it. If a man takes a woman, straps her to a board and beats her…that’s a crime. If she’s into it, then it threatens the general sense of normalcy and she’s having to explain her fetish and be judged. If this movie bothered to answer the rationale behind the latter, we could’ve had something incredible. Now, it’s just shower nozzle fantasy.
While I don’t care for the source material, I care less for the vocal minority that is quick to make any subject about themselves. I have reached a point with the social media crowd where I have no respect for those that don’t offer a debate on material. The 0-60 approach on forming protests and sending threats to those that create narrative is disgusting. “50 Shades of Grey” isn’t a good movie, but it deserves your rightful scorn. Not your distaste at the subject matter.
So, how about that film? It’s a poorly edited, amateur shot work. Half of the movie is exposition that would make “The Phantom Menace” scoff at its clumsy handling. The second half of the movie is spent setting up the sex acts and what will come in the next two films. Dakota Johnson tries to push the focus back on Grey, but he never gives you much other than an early sexual encounter that informed his tastes. Forgettable, but it got the opening weekend it needed.