I've heard terrible reviews from my friends. I've heard things such as "it's not romantic at all" "it is an abusive story" "you minus well watch real porn" as well as "it depicts BDSM culture inaccurately." With everyone who has seen it having a strong and negative opinion on it, it made me want to see what this film is about. (and plus, Jamie Dornan is one good-looking man)
I wanted to read the book before seeing the film, but that didn't happen.
In addition, I have heard it was poorly written from multiple people. One of my friends said "it is partially due to the fact that it is a British woman trying to be a young American female" and proceeded to read me some excerpts that sounded off.
In brief, I didn't read the book before watching the film and I didn't watch it in theaters. I wasn't going to spend $10 when I can just wait for it to be released on RedBox and rent it for less than $2. So that's what I did.
If your friends have talked to you about the film, then you already know 97% of the film. The story line is simply this: a naive girl meets a rich, handsome guy who wants to have a dominant/submissive strictly sexual relationship with her.
The film's cinematography was up to film standard. Was it amazing? No. Was it mediocre? No.
Personally, acting was also up to par but not "wow, so much talent". Dornan and Johnson played their roles well. However, a dear friend of mine thought Dornan didn't do so hot and Johnson surpassed his talent.
One thing that I applaud this film for is: its soundtrack. A soundtrack can make a film for me. In this particular case, it helped a LOT. Even though I got sick of hearing Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do" and the Weeknd's "Earned It" because it was on the radio non-stop, it fit the film perfectly. Kudos to Danny Elfman for a great score and all the musicians who had their song featured.
The film was a slow build-up and then a crash. Slow build-up because the start of the Anna/Christian relationship was definitely sparking interest. Crash because of the red room.
To me, this room that is for pleasure, honestly scared me. I get that the story is about eroticism and kinky sex with handcuffs and whips. But for me, it reminded me of bloody films like Hostel and Saw (I've probably seen too many films like that for my own good).
The establishing shots of the room did not present pleasure but just plain pain. It did give off a mysterious vibe, but also a murderous one.
Overall, this film was OK to me. I'm glad I saw it to be in the know. Would I optionally watch it again? Probably not unless I plan on watching the sequel. But in all honestly, I probably will watch the sequel because I am curious to see what happens in Anna and Christian's relationship and Jamie Dornan will still be attractive.
CREDITSWriters: E.L James (author of book), Kelly Marcel
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Producers: Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, E.L James
Main Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle
Running Time: 125 minutes