Review: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (World Premiere Edition)

Submitted by: EJ Newbold   photo 1(3)

My rating: 8/10

I had the opportunity to watch the film at the World Premiere screening in London after meeting the cast, producer Dana Brunetti, director Sam Taylor-Johnson as well as the author EL James on the grey carpet. Mostly a British cast and crew for the World Premiere who were all lovely despite running late in the cold February weather while meeting fans and interviewing with Edith Bowman on the stage at the end of the carpet and speaking to the media before introducing the film to over 1672 of us in the Odeon screening with VIP tickets. photo   From the start I had a very low expectation and honestly wasn’t planning on seeing the film in the cinema but I’m glad I did. I’m surprised I actually like the film as much as I did but feel that Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson’s acting and the audience’s reactions helped with the rating I’ve given with everything complimenting so well with the editing and use of music that went well with the adapted narrative. With being an ‘18’ rating it’s a lot more visual with sex scenes and swearing than the American and European edits, due to the R rating (15) there, but everything was tastefully done and swearing was added with humour or were direct quotes from the book which always got good responses from the audience with certain proclamations from Christian such as “f*k the paperwork” in the elevator before they kiss and “I don’t make love, I f*k hard.”

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is about a English student, Anastasia Steele, who takes the place of her best friends Kate Kavanagh in interviewing CEO Christian Grey at his office due to being one who is hard to get your hands on (literally) and leaves a lasting impression on Christian that leads him to want to make an arrangement with Ana. This arrangement’s far from expected or Ana and therefore the story consists of them, as a couple, learning to trust and enjoying time together with ‘firsts’ within events and sexual encounters together. You learn that Ana is a virgin – Christian’s reaction to this’ awesome – and Christian isn’t one who dates so their anomalies become obstacles neither are really used to but try to overcome. Christian Grey’s one that’s very conflicted with himself and seemed be unhappy most of the time; something Ana changes with being with him. Their dates we witness are very cute and they end up changing small things about themselves, without really knowing they have, to help please one another. These moments add the light hearted parts of the story (or ‘fluff’ as we call it in fanfiction) that were needed and formed a few of my favourite scenes including the glider scene – edited amazingly within the cuts, light and cinematography with the reactions of Ana and Christian while she enjoys a past time of his that he hasn’t shared with anyone, a first, just like sleeping in the same bed as someone, as well as when Ana gets drunk at the beginning of the film and their relationship already has its foundation in which her dialogue of copying Christian is done really well and is very funny as a mix between being serious and mocking him on his hot and cold personality that she gets confused with. photo 2(1)   Through being with Ana we learn that there is a tragedy in his life, which is linked to that fact that he is adopted and the scars on his chest (something that isn’t answered until the second book so many had gotten confused of what’s happened and the cause of the ending) and so through the problems he’s gone through in his life you learn that he feels he can’t love nor deserves to be by others in his life where be it his family or even by Ana. These barriers of the characters are stripped back so they become raw and vulnerable, summiting to each other throughout the film despite Christian wanting to be the dominant of their S&M relationship. photo 4(1)   Both characters change so much over the storyline, and for the better, but both being so head-strong and expecting a lot from each other they soon realise that everything won’t be as easy as they may have thought. Things also go too far in the end, it’s something that a few friend are confused about due to the extremes of it and not having read the books, which leaves you shocked and just thinking ‘Woah’. A main problem with the film is the pacing of it; the editing and cinematography is amazing, especially in the sex scenes with using cuts of kissing, feet and leg movements, hands clenching, rope tightening, lip biting etc. that gave you all you need to know, but when you finally get into the storyline and get the understanding of where the characters are heading in their relationship the end scene projects confusion as then the credits roll. The camera shots were very simple yet close ups and camera angles never showed too much leaving it a film that was more suited for the target audience of females as even boobs weren’t overly shown and were just included as being there in the shots as part of the woman’s body rather than being a key aspect that is shown like many action films do when the love interests are included. photo 5(3)   The film ended too quickly though being minutes long. It means that many, including myself, are now excited for the next film ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ but the flow of this movie meant it felt incomplete… I was expecting more from Fifty Shades of Grey, not sex scenes per say – I can’t moan for looking at Jamie for hours and feel many other woman who watched it with me feel that way – but in storyline. Re-reading the story however I’ve realised that nothing majorly was actually missed out. Yes, obvious scenes that blatantly couldn’t be included as would cheapen the film as well as being scenes you just don’t want to watch as not very tasteful and was better just to imagine in it in your head rather than have it visualised for you. photo 2(2)   From the clips I had seen beforehand I knew that ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ would be quite humorous – the interview/first meeting as well as the negotiation scenes were the best in this aspect, also being some of the actors favourite parts too. I feel everything was tastefully done and styled, making you want to re-watch it again and again for the humour aspect as well as revisiting on how their romance started as it’s far from cliché or over done in films these days like many are within how they meet. My favourite parts were definitely their first meeting and Christian’s reaction to being asked if he is gay, their 2nd meeting of the negotiation scene as well as Christian smiling when he catches Ana dance in his kitchen while she cooks for him. The subtle moments of care between the characters makes it the romance many wanted to see and with the good chemistry between Dakota and Jamie I feel that the future films will also do as well in the box office with the fact that the characters have been introduced now. photo 3(2)   With Ana and Christian being from totally different paths of life I did enjoy seeing their lives intertwine as they try to hold it together with actions one another makes that pushes the other too far. It makes me happy that Ana has a back bone and stands up to him when he’s doing wrong as well as calling him out on things that he had said in the past such as ‘I don’t do romance.’ Within many scenes at the beginning of the film the innuendos worked very well and got lots of laughs and was something that was caught very quickly, especially with everyone knowing what the film was about so I found that clever and witty. I also love how it was cast. I had worries first of all when I had heard who had what parts but these I had queried about ended up having such small parts I don’t know why I had. Jamie and Dakota obviously had the most scenes and I feel that each of them owned particular scenes naturally which ended up working well due to the fact that Christian and Ana having shared power in the film. photo 1(2)   The trailer was the key thing I think worked well due to the story being explained but also good teases of Jamie and the great use of song of Beyoncé’s remix of ‘Cray in Love’ which is amazing. The soundtrack in general is awesome from Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd and Vaults (their music makes the glider scene) and I love how “Welcome to my world” is used due to being relevant to Ana in what Christian introduces her with, with both the millionaire lifestyle as well as the S&M sex. The foreshadowing linked to the end of the film I thought was also very clever and received some gasps in the screening too as the relevance… To be honest I’m happy that Sam Taylor-Johnson isn’t continuing directing the next couple of films; I’m intrigued with how other directors will perceive and create the films and with ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ being my favourite of all the trilogy with the angst of the characters and storyline themes that continue from the end of Fifty Shades of Grey I’m hoping that the film will be more intimate as we learn more about Christian. I can only hope that more of the story feels covered than this one as, though there will be yet another film afterwards, there is no major cliff-hanger to follow from it afterwards like this one.   Ellie Goulding ‘Love Me like You Do’ music video:   1st meeting – Interview scene:   Hardware Store scene:


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