Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

Fifty-Gray-poster.jpgThe Punisher: Phwoar Zone

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle, Luke Grimes

At this point, it's seemingly impossible to talk about this film without mentioning it's beginnings. It's astounding how something that began as Twilight fan-fiction, turned into such a massive hit. Unfortunately, it wasn't due to the source material's critical acclaim.

As a favour to her ill friend, literature student Anastasia Steele (Johnson) goes to interview billionaire Christian Grey (Dornan). After their meeting, she finds herself desperate to get closer to him. But to do so means discovering his singular tastes.

Credit where it's due, Dakota Johnson gives life to a character that's dull on paper. Anastasia Steele is written as occasionally ditzy and largely boring, with her primary characteristic being a habit to bite her lower lip. Unfortunately, it seems beyond Johnson's capabilities to salvage the missing chemistry with her lead co-star. The character of Christian Grey is written as a control freak, as opposed to a character with an actual personality. Jamie Dornan effectively mimics this, bringing a mechanical delivery of laughable dialogue, and giving an uninteresting performance.

Christian carries a drunk Anastasia

Sam Taylor-Johnson's direction can effectively be labelled 'overly dull', as viewers bear witness to dragged out scenes, across visually drab sets. It's worth noting that Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel have done well, managing to clean up some of the more ghastly elements of the book. Unfortunately, lines of dialogue such "I'm fifty shades of fucked up" manage to make their way into the film.

There's few guesses what's been the most talked about element in the run up to this film. The sexual scenes are built up, through eye-rolling hints early on. When they eventually arrive, what appears on-screen disappointingly lacks any heat or excitement. The result can merely be described as yawn-worthy titillation.

One of the stronger elements is the soundtrack, combining entertaining pop-tracks from the likes of Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd and Beyoncé for something positive. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the closure to this story. After following these two characters for this 2 hour story, it doesn't feel like we're given an actual ending. It comes off too abrupt and anticlimatic to be such a thing.

For a film which built a reputation for it's raunchy content, it's a shame the result is unexciting, to the point of inducing sleep. At the end of the day, Fifty Shades of Grey is indeed a promotion of abuse, towards any poor soul that's unfortunate enough to see this film.