Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Weighing in | 50 Shades of Grey

It has been about a week and a half since I, like the majority of the world, dipped my toe in, bit the bullet and dove straight in to see 50 Shades of Grey at my local cinema. As a film buff I see most of the films that come out, and I have to say the hype surrounding this particular novel (if you can call it that) to film adaptation, in fact my local newspaper (The Evening Express) estimated that around 15,000 Aberdonians were set to flock to the cinemas on opening weekend to see it (which I of course avoided at all costs due to my intense hatred of crowds!) Since then I have seen various reviews, rants and general posts about the '50 Shades Experience' mainly revolving around issues of consent, domestic violence and feminism all of which have been very interesting to read, the world would be a very boring place if everyone were the same wouldn't it? So today I thought I would leap on the bandwagon and share my own views on this phenomenon that has men and women a like up in arms, going gaga and flocking to the cinemas!
First let's start with the film. The film itself? I didn't hate it. Of course being Oscar season it doesn't exactly fit in to the typical melodramas we have been saturated with and it was sort of a refreshing change of pace. The dialogue was cheesy, given it was taken directly from the book the majority of the time I really expected nothing but, the acting wasn't fantastic (I guess some of those scenes would have been pretty difficult to film so...solid effort I suppose) and the storyline itself is a basic Mills and Boon / Twilight crossover and so I'm not entirely sure where the success of this particular piece of smut came from but ho hum the public are mysterious creatures sometimes. If you are swithering about whether or not to see it, I wouldn't waste a tenner on it (if like me you have an Unlimited card go for it) as I do feel it is rather pricey. On a little side note I feel the cinemas have missed a trick here, give 50 Shades book owners a discount? Or free Ann Summers discount voucher with every ticket purchased? That's just the PR lady in me though I suppose.
With all of the comments of domestic violence circulating the blogosphere, internet and world given its popularity, I went in fully expecting to come out with my feminist hat on bemused at how such a violent film could be made in this day and age yet be so wildly popular with women in particular but it is here where we enter a rather grey area (HA!) The film and the book a like cover themselves incredibly well from revolving around an abusive relationship, and despite the naivety of the central female character I have to say that this is not a violent tale. Everything in the film is consensual, and when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING (in fact there was even an incredibly in depth contract read, reread and then agreed to) and it really comes down to a case of sexual experimentation, taste and character development, something we would never criticize people in the real world for (each to their own and all that jazz) As a feminist, I applaud the central character for being open minded enough to give everything a go and despite the overpowering and at times intense male presence in the film I think she held her own incredibly well, she ruled out everything she was uncomfortable with, did not run to his beck and call and was able to maintain her individual identity throughout the course of their relationship (brief I may add)
Even though there are sighs, hos and hums from the film critics and publics all over the world it appears this saga is here to stay (having signed on for another 2 films, and why not it's a money making machine?!) and I for one am excited to see the characters develop and delve ever deeper into the realms of female sexuality, experimentation and BDSM which as a nation we are quick to brush off and shy away from (I am also looking forward to seeing how much Ann Summers sales upsurge in!)
Until next time folks, feminism hat is well and truly on!

H.Elizabeth xx


  1. Totally agree with you on most of these points. I actually really liked the main actress (even though I hated the character in the book). She made Anastasia likable which is certainly a feat, in my opinion, and I think they actually improved upon a story that very much translated to abuse in the book, IMHO. Aside from that, the cinematography and soundtrack were awesome. The film actually turned Anastasia into a powerful female lead which, in my opinion, she never was in the book. So, that's the only thing I'll have to say is that while the film changed for the better, the book has all the elements I hated. I even did a book review on it ranting about it haha.

    Thanks for the awesome post ♥

    1. Yes I completely agree many parts of the book were terrible and I think the book very much does translate to an abusive relationship but in terms of the film, the parts they chose to include tell a different story which was very clever of the director to be able to cherry pick the appropriate parts that would come across well on screen. But I agree the book is terrible! Haha.

      Hannah xx

      Hannah | Granite City Girl


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