Friday, Feb. 13 was the opening for the long awaited (for many) ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film. My boyfriend and I showed up to the 7:45 p.m. showing at AMC in Fashion Valley. Standing in line, I was wondering what I was doing there because the people standing in line were ladies who appeared to be older, for sure older than 40. The women giggled, made sexual jokes and even had grey ties around their necks; they seemed really excited! There were also younger women who were probably in their 20s. Other than my boyfriend and I, there were maybe about five other couples and a few guys who were there to see it on their own (weird, right?). Having read the books prior to viewing the film, I kind of knew what would happen; however, I did not expect that seeing it would be so much different from reading the book.
If I were a movie critic, I would probably give the film four or five stars. There was suspense, action and love. For the most part, I think people look for one of these things in movies or even all three. Most people at the movie theater were on the edge of their seats waiting to see what would happen next (mainly those who probably didn’t read the books), “wooing” during sex scenes or even making sarcastic remarks.
Personally, I would rate this movie with one or two stars. The film is a story above love, a weird love story that’s for sure, but also a very abusive relationship. Even though the main character Anastasia, a college student, consented to everything that occurred, I think that the portrayal of a woman as submissive takes us back in time instead recognizing the progress that has been made. I know the intent of this film was not to advocate for women’s rights, but what are we really telling women and men with this film? Are we saying it’s okay to be beaten by someone we are interested in? That it is okay to be sexually, emotionally and physically abused by our partner because it is the way they demonstrate love? That a male’s riches outweigh all the negative things that make him who he is? Many women will take this message and think that it is okay. It’s not!
But playing devil’s advocate, it is JUST a movie. This movie isn’t telling us to go and beat our partner to feel pleasure and be fulfilled. No movie tells us what to do. It is up to every individual to think and do as they please. Ultimately, I think it is important to remember that even though it is just a film, media is a very powerful way of conveying messages.
Stephanie Perez is a senior Spanish major and sociology and women’s studies minor. She studied abroad in Spain and hopes to return to teach English.
Average. Fifty Shades of Grey is average. Both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dorman played the role well given the script they had. Excluding E. L. James from any involvement from the script is a big mistake on Universal Studios because the connection between the actors and the storyline was not very well developed. Throughout the movie, viewers can sense the rigidity of the actors especially during the sexually intimate acts. As a male viewer who only read half of the book, the portion of the movie that covered what I read was accurate to the storyline of the book and excluded scenes that would compromise the R-rating of the movie. With that being said, Universal Studios made a huge mistake by having the movie focus on what a male audience wants, which is visual stimulation. I’m sure the author, when writing the series, had a mature female audience in mind.
Most women are not stimulated visually as opposed to men. Universal Studios should have left more for the imagination. The amount of nudity portrayed in the movie compared to other films was brief and the content of the scenes did push social boundaries. The Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) community were outraged by the portrayal of BDSM the book and movie portray stating that the events in the movie distort what people who practice BDSM actually do. The outrage by the community is invalidated by their intent on defining what BDSM is or is not. Human sexuality cannot be confined to sexual norms by a society because sexuality is an abstract part of human life that cannot be measured or defined. What is acceptable to a group of people might not be acceptable to another group. Evidently there is a grey area (no pun intended) in which certain people push their boundaries and others are satisfied by their sexuality.
Overall, the movie was average and I would recommend waiting until the movie is out on DVD. If there is a sequel, I hope that E. L. James is more involved in the script to help it get that spark that lacked in the first film. For those reading, if you desperately want to watch it, then go ahead, although you might be disappointed.
Alvarez is a senior psychology major with a Spanish minor. He is a pursuing a career in marriage and family therapy.