Well I need something to pass the lonely nights now I’m living alone…joking (well only partly!). Re-watching the most talked about movie of 2015 sent me on a rollercoaster of feelings towards the franchise. Having read the book and seeing the movie a handful of times back in 2015 I hadn’t given it much thought since so when I found myself home alone with nothing on TV I thought I’d give Mr Grey another little go. Queue the steamy music and adjust the contrast on your tv for 50 Shades of Grey.
5o Shades was the first mainstream movie I’ve ever seen to explicitly show sex in such a detailed and graphic form. I know the story doesn’t stand up to much and there are so many body doubles nobody really knows who’s doing what but the idea is the same and Mr Dornan is easy on the eye if you are in to that kind of thing. It turns out – I’m not these days.
I watched the movie this time in a way I never had before. The power of rewatching a story you know (arguable line by line it seemed) is that you look at the other stuff. You actually listen to whats happening and it turns out that Mr Grey actually is an arse. There were times where my inner feminist was shouting at Ana. She doesn’t need him, what makes you go back to that time and time again?
He’s controlling, he’s mean, he’s judgemental.
Now I’m not a prude, far from. Whatever kinks you have I am very much happy with thats your business but what Christian doesn’t do with Ana is actually talk to her.
I struggle to understand the domination and sadism of that lifestyle but Christians history with it has been with consenting women who I would imagine have their eyes wide open knowing and wanting what was coming. Poor Ana wanted a straight up boyfriend, a middle of the road, ‘normal’ man. Was it the billionaire lifestyle that kept her coming back? The over the odds gifts – to quote Kate Kavanagh: what did happen to chocolates? By throwing Ana in to the deep end it was, the first time, I’d seen how overwhelmed she must have felt and I didn’t like seeing that.
What struck me the most was the ending *spoiler alert*. Love makes us blind (apparently!) so I can kind of see why she called him out on just how bad the pain could be (thats something I would do) and before she knew it she was in strike 3 and crying silently in what must be unimaginable pain (after the first I would have ran away clothed or not! That pain would make it quite clear that no actual pleasure would come from it. Why didn’t he see that? If he knew it was going hurt and he could see that she was emotionally unstable and upset to start with, did he really think hitting her with a belt would make her love him?! *end of spoiler alert*.
Now I know its only a movie but it is now a world renowned franchise and based on fetishes and kinks real people have. People are in to all different things, its what makes the world turn but all I wanted to see was him be the mysterious billionaire who likes the odd spank but knows his own limits. In the beginning he boasts about how good he is about reading people yet in the end he gets it so monumentally wrong.
If I picked anything up from the film its the great soundtrack. A brilliant album with some great songs. Bey’s heavy breathing and the smooth tones of Ms Lennox just make the hairs on my neck stand on end.
The rollercoaster of emotions in the movie arguable does everything they intend to do. First you want him, then he scares you, then you want him, then you don’t and you think he should be arrested all before it ends and you’re even more eager for the next film.
I’ve read the books and I know the ending but I cant remember feeling so strongly against him whilst reading as I did whilst watching. The novelty of the sex wears off pretty quickly once you’ve seen it once but there were times when watching it again that I just wanted her to cut and run and save herself from the emotional and physical torture.But I suppose its just a film and no vanilla stuff with anyone else is going to take her to the extremes of passion and desire he does but he controls her with more than just handcuffs and rope and I wonder what message that is sending out to women who find themselves controlled and manipulated in every sense. Christian has Ana over a barrel (quite literally at times) and I fear that she could never get away from him even if she tried she will always go back to him.
What would become of Ana if there was only the first film? Can any woman help a man as broken as him? And if so is Ana the right person to do that?
I think I need to dig the books back out and find the Mr Grey I wanted back in 2011.