Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty shades of disappointment

More stories from Bambi Nguyen


Director Sam Taylor-Johnson brings color to an overdone story of a good girl gone bad in the erotic romance film, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” based on the best-selling series by E.L. James.
Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, is a graduate student who meets young billionaire Christian Grey played by Jamie Dornan.
Coming from different worlds, they  begin their atypical relationship from the first meeting. She finds herself getting involved in Christian’s world of bondage, discipline, dominance and masochism.
The film follows their turbulent relationship as Christian introduces Anastasia to a life of expensive champagne and suspended chains.
This is Taylor-Johnson’s sixth time directing and she incorporates unexpected glimpses of humor in an otherwise drab storyline. She manages to keep a serious tone in the movie, while successfully including natural lightheartedness between the characters.
The film was visually appealing with brilliant cinematography. The color schemes and sets perfectly match the characters’ personalities and form a clear distinction between their contrasting lives.
Although the acting is almost awkward and unnatural at times, Johnson portrays an image of such pure innocence, viewers feel her character’s emotions and can easily empathize with her.
Dornan holds his own as the male lead despite not being the first choice for Christian Grey. He is able to emit an aura of twisted darkness and still maintain a compassionate disposition.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is beautifully filmed with a charming cast centered around a weak plot with poor character development.

 “Fifty Shades of Grey” is beautifully filmed with a charming cast centered around a weak plot with poor character development. The cinematography is both appealing and appropriate. Yet, little can be expected from a film adaptation of an erotic novel.
Do not go into the theater expecting a heart-wrenching cinematic experience. As it is rated R, and not NC-17, you should not expect to be bombarded with hardcore pornographic visuals. The nudity was kept to a minimum and erotic scenes were brief and dull.
What makes the film passable is its excellent music. Numerous popular artists such as Sia, The Weeknd, Awolnation, Beyonce, Ellie Goulding and more contributed to the soundtrack. The songs are both haunting and intimate, flawlessly fitting in with the sensual theme of the film.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” is two hours of a stale plot-line coupled with refined sound and visuals. This film somehow manages to make you feel like you wasted money, but glad you watched it at the same time. You may leave the theater feeling a bit incomplete. Lucky for you, the sequel will be released next year.