50 Shades of Grey lives up to the color namesake of its male protagonist—grey, one of the boring colors in the Crayola box (Crayola calls it gray not grey). When I was a kid I would use the vibrant colors to their last stroke and leave out gray because I found it bland. This is the same word I have in mind to describe the movie.
I read 50 Shades of Grey because I was curious why women were talking about it like it was a great masterpiece. I had all three books by E. L. James thinking that I had my hands full for the next 72 hours. Boy, was I wrong. I tried to give my full attention to the book and to the movie but it was hard. I skipped 60% of the first book, but watched 98% of the movie. Sayang ang P250.00 (US $5.65) (P230 for the ticket and an additional P20 for online reservation). I have not read the other two books, and I have no intention to do so in the near future.
Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, is a Lit Major but she comes across as someone with limited vocabulary. Her adjectives range from nice to…nice. The message exchanges between her and Grey are painful to watch (it is worse in the book). They are mostly perfunctory, devoid of any emotion. Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, does not have a commanding presence. He has a slamming body, but for me he is not a believable Christian Grey. Also he looks younger than Anastasia. When he said, “I don’t make love. I ****. Hard” women in the theater screamed.
In the first half of the film, every time a private body part was exposed there was an appropriate reaction from our co-moviegoers. The theater was silent in the last half of the movie, maybe they were lulled to sleep by the almost repetitive scenes in the playroom. Lather, rinse, repeat. All things considered, the scenes in the playroom are tastefully done–nothing vulgar and are almost clinical in execution–but they have umay factor. It is like two is enough, three is too much and five might induce hair-pulling moments. I have the same sentiments for Anastasia’s lip biting.
I have five stray observations. First, Anastasia’s wardrobe improves by leaps and bounds after she met Christian. Mr. Taylor, Christian’s driver and bodyguard, has good taste in clothes. I covet her jackets. 🙂 Second, the playroom is what I imagined it to be—immaculately clean with only two colors (red and black) something an anal character like Christian Grey would choose. Third, the business meeting piqued my interest. Aside from the playful exchange, I find how Anastasia’s drink reflects the redness of the room interesting. Fourth, I like the (almost) bookend scenes between Anastasia and Christian, with the elevator doors closing while they stare at each other–the first happens after Anastasia interviews Christian and then when they separate for good (or so it seems). Speaking of the ending, the girl behind me said, “bitin!” (hanging ending) when the closing credits rolled. I guess someone did not know that it is a trilogy. Last, someone told me to count the number of scenes where blurring and blocking of private parts were implemented, so I did. I lost count after seven.
Since the title of this entry is 50 Shades of Greylato, I have to include the gelato we had after the movie. Technically, the flavors do not add up to 50 but I am allowed to exaggerate, so…