Fifty Shades of mixed reviews

Elizabeth Britton, ‘Doah Staff Writer
February 18, 2015

“Mr. Grey will see you now.”

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” an erotic best selling novel by E.L. James, has been turned into a movie and was released in theaters on Feb. 13, 2015. With the outbreak of this book and movie, there has been controversy on the sex and relationships portrayed in the two.

Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, is a college student who is still a virgin until she meets Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, through an interview for the school newspaper. From there on, it seems that Mr. Grey cannot leave her alone. He goes so far as to show up unexpectedly at her work and her mother’s home in Georgia while she visits. Soon begins the erotic scenes that have been anxiously anticipated by many adoring fans and horridly dreaded by critics.

One of the several issues being discussed in the entertainment and literary world is the fact that “Fifty Shades of Grey” started out as a work of “Twilight” fanfiction by E.L. James. It was meant to be an alternate universe fanfiction portraying Bella Swan and Edward Cullen as the main leads. Despite this drawback, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaption of E.L. James’ erotic novel is predicted to gross $60 million or more in the US and more than $50 million internationally.

The main event of the movie are the sex scenes and erotic moments between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Before they can really do anything, Mr. Grey feels the need to share a secret: He loves BDSM. BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism) includes many different sexual practices including bondage, roleplay, restraint and painful pleasure. Christian Grey calls himself a dominant and wants Anastasia Steele to become his submissive.

This, in and of itself, would be normal had Mr. Grey just left it at that in the bedroom (or in the “Red Room”). But Christian Grey does not want total control of Anastasia Steele in just the bedroom––he wants complete control over her life. He asks her to sign a legal contract including, but not limited to the following rules: no excessive alcohol consumption, the submissive must obtain birth control and take preventative measures to ensure that no pregnancy occurs and the submissive must take care of her health. Signing a contract to enter into a BDSM relationship is unusual; there is normally verbal consent and a conversation about what all participants of the relationship are comfortable with.

Surprisingly, the movie was fairly consistent with the book. There were a few scenes that had been taken out for the movie’s time purposes, such as the boathouse sex scene. But with nearly 20 minutes of direct sex in the movie and sexual tension laced throughout, the movie held the same passion as the book in many different aspects. A big concern about the movie was with E.L. James’ writing about Anastasia’s “inner goddess.” Luckily, this inner personality took a break for the entire movie and did not show up once. If you’re looking for a steamy romance movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is definitely for you.


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