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The Culture Column: Fifty Shades of Grey

The most anticipated film of the year has arrived….

Fifty Shades of Grey, the most controversial subject of 2015, was originally a Twilight fan-fiction. Written in 2011 by E.L James, a mother-of-two who lives in East London, the erotic romance novel suddenly became a global phenomenon. English Literature student Anastasia Steele’s (Dakota Johnson) life is forver changed after she meets sexy business-man Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), who harbours a dark sexual life. I’m sure everyone is familiar with the storyline. The first I heard of it was when my own mother (cringe!) borrowed the first book from her work friends. I wasn’t really impressed. Despite having skimmed almost the entire thing, I thought the storyline was pathetic and the main characters completely unlikeable. Unfortunately, there are women out there who couldn’t wait for their sadistic hero Christian Grey to materialise in film. When I heard they were going to produce a film, I admit I did feel curious. Judging by the trailer, I felt it was already exceeding Twilight massively. So, on the 14th of February I decided why not just see what the hype is for? In the run up for the film I noticed my Facebook was saturated with outraged individuals who were appalled at the subject Fifty Shades dealt with. Does it glamourize domestic abuse? I went to find out.

The cinema was absolutely heaving – we even got accused of sitting in someone else’s seat. As it was Valentine’s Day, the majority of the audience were couples and there was a good atmosphere. Unfortunately, it was meh. I thought that the cinematography was quite impressive and the soundtrack was incredibly catchy (I actually want to buy the CD). But the film itself was honestly mediocre. Yes the storyline is going to be flat because the focus is sex, but I felt most of the time it bordered on cheesy. Johnson’s acting was nothing special; her continual lip biting just became awkward and she miraculously orgasmed without Dornan even touching her. Most of the time the audience were laughing. Dornan was quite successful in a sexy, brooding kind of way. What about the glamorisation of abuse? There were some lines from Christian Grey where he talked about the thrill of punishing women which made me feel uncomfortable. However by the end, I though it challenged S&M rather than glamourize it.

Ultimately, save your money. Do not waste time or money watching it at the ridiculously over-priced cinema these days. Wait until Netflix if you are really that desperate.

Final year English Literature student at Lancaster University, who loves art, writing and anything creative. Aspires to work in digital marketing and advertising in the future :)
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