‘Fifty Shades’ of you should pay for something else

By Jacob Pierce| JacobPierce1_DE, Daily Egyptian

Sometimes, it is just better to rip off the bandage and get the pain over with.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” (Rated R; 125 min) is offensive, poorly made and hard to watch.

The movie is a romance drama directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle and Eloise Mumford.



Anastasia Steele, played by Johnson, is a literature student attending Washington State University. Her roommate is set to interview Christian Grey, played by Dornan, a charismatic billionaire, for the college newspaper. She falls ill and it lands on Steele to take up the interview.

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The two fall in love at first sight, Grey going as far as obsessing over Steele. Their relationship reaches a point where the billionaire must share his deeply hidden secret with his lover. The private information sends Steele down a hole, from which she may never return.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is one of the most anticipated film of the year. Many would list films like “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” or even “The Hateful Eight” as the most critically hyped movies of the year. Yet, whether people wanted to see Taylor-Johnson’s sexual epic boycott it, many anticipated the world’s reaction to the film.

The major problem with the film is its repugnant nature. When dubbing “Fifty Shades of Grey” offensive, it has nothing to do with the erotic nature of the movie. The flick was rated R, so hypothetically everyone watching should know of the birds and the bees. The vulgar qualities come from the representation of the bondage community.

The film attacks anyone outside of the “normal” sexual lifestyle. Grey, who participates in bondage, is only sexually deviant because of his abusive childhood. He is “fifty shades of f—– up,” as he says in the film, and that is why he cannot have an ordinary relationship with Steele. This perpetuates the idea that all people with this interest must come from a broken background.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” also portrays those in the bondage community as abusive and obsessive.

Grey is incapable of thinking about anything but his “toys,” and how he is going to use them on Steele. He even ends up using the items on her without her consent. This is hugely unacceptable in any sexual encounter, but a huge rule breaker for any bondage participant.

Besides derogatory mistakes, the movie is atrociously executed. Many compare it to the “Twilight” series, as the “Fifty Shades” collection started as “Twilight” fan-fiction. This film both matches and exceeds the abominations of the sparkling vampire series of which it originated.

Grey comes off as abusive, obsessive and controlling. But, being a “bad person” does not constitute a static character. Some of the best characters in the history of fiction are broken and flawed.

Nothing the film does ever makes Grey interesting, as he portrays the stoic, brooding, unattainable archetype. He is a carbon copy of Edward from “Twilight” in almost every way, from his nonchalant demeanor to his and dark yet vague backstory. Empathizing is made practically impossible, which is key to liking an imperfect character.

The characters’ beyond cringe-worthy dialogue sounds like something out of a junior high creative writing course, which is a little heartbreaking when you realize the book sold more than 100 million copies. Pointing out one weakness in the script adaptation is not hard, but the dialogue seems to be the worst.

On the record, this is the worst movie of the year. It is hard to imagine anything being worse than “Fifty Shades of Grey,” no matter how many times Nicolas Cage stars in a movie this year. Giving the movie a one out of five is a pity gesture, as making any film is never easy.

Stars: 1 out of 5.