The opening of the long awaited movie Fifty shades of Grey took place in Dublin tonight. The
SwanCinema in Rathmines was packed full of 20-50-year-old women. As the Durex condom commercial started to run with the tag line, “love sex Durex,” the only men who were there started to look very sheepish, as if they wanted to bolt before the movie began – bless.
Fans of this trilogy of books, which sold over 100 million copies, have been waiting paitently for this film release. The night before Valentine’s Day seemed all too appropriate for all the seemingly single women in the audience.
The story, which seems all too familiar, is of a plain, young, not too- interesting woman, who also happens to still be a virgin at the age of 22, named Anastacia Steel (played by Dakota Johnson whose parents happen to be Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith) who, of course, goes after affluent, good-looking, unavailable asshole, Christian Grey ( played by Irish actor model Jamie Dornan). Only the twist on this one is that Christian Grey is well into his bondage and has a well-oiled “play room” installed in his large apartment, filled with all the gear necessary to have his way with his submissive.
Their first encounter happens as Ana’s roommate, who was set to interview Christian, falls ill, and Ana fills in. Her attire for this meeting is nothing short of a nun off duty (if they ever are off-duty – not sure if you can clock out in that job) or an old librarian going in to work. It’s clear as the conversation goes on between them that sparks begin to fly.
The next time they meet up, he just shows up at her job at the hardware store where he buys zip ties, rope, and duct tape. She states, “You’re the complete serial killer.” Yikes. At this point, he seems like a stalker and a serial killer.
As he asks her out for coffee and they get talking, Ana seems to get too personal when she asks him about his childhood. He decides it’s time to cut and run. As Ana seems confused, Christian states, “I am not the man for you. You should steer clear of me. I have to let you go”. Now, any normal woman – with the stalking and buying of ropes and telling you this – would run a mile. But this is Hollywood, lest we forget.
Next, she rings him drunk from a bar, and he drives over and collects her. She spends the night, but apparently nothing happens except for her vomiting all over her clothes. He then shows her his red room where he has all his toys and whips to be the dominant. He goes on to present her with a confidentiality agreement so that she can tell no one about the relationship. Well, if that doesn’t smell of romance, nothing does. He, as well, presents her with a larger contract regarding their dominant submissive sexual relationship, which needs to be signed before they begin. You know, just he normal beginning of the relationship bondage contract deal. In the contract, there are many strange things, some of which she negotiates. While she is his submissive, she is to live in a separate room where apparently 15 other women have slept in before her – yikes.
The relationship continues with lots of crazy sex and some punishment. Ana is starting to fall for Christian and he for her. They even meet each other’s parents along the way. It’s a strange mix of almost normal but, then again, never normal relationship stuff. Plane rides, helicopter rides, expensive gifts, etc. His work prowess seems to fall by the wayside due to his obsession with Ana. After one of their red room sessions, Ana is so sexed out after all the bondage, her lifeless body has to be carried to bed.
Dakota Johnson did a really good job, coming across as sexy, vulnerable, nice and, in the end, smart. Jamie Dornan was not so warm, not so likeable, not such a good actor. Maybe he should stick to the modelling and not speak. There are rumours that these two did not get on well during the making of this film, which was bad information to have before you have watched the movie as it hindered the believability of the story. For the two leading characters dislike for one another must have made the making of all the intimate nude bondage sex scenes very difficult to say the least. Speaking of nudity, there was far too much of Ana and not enough of Christian. After all, this was a film for women.
Some women’s groups are up in arms even protesting outside the screening in the UK about how this film glamorises domestic violence. This film seems to glamorise the kept woman scenario but again its Hollywood and men run Hollywood so no surprises there. Most women have had their share of bad boys but maybe not as rich or sexually deviant.
This movie comes at a time in Ireland when one man (Graham Dwyer) is accused of murdering a women with mental disabilities where they apparently participated in such sexual exploits. This most likely will change the light hearted way in which Irish audiences may receive this film and this topic.
This film definitely leaves room for a sequel which thousands of women around the world will be queuing up to see.
I will not spoil the end of the movie but will leave you with some of its more interesting quotes:
“If you were mine, you would not be able to sit down for a week.”
“No vaginal clips.”
“I would like to fuck you into the middle of next week.”
“I am fifty shades of fucked up.”
“What is a butt plug?”