Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey ★

Image result for Fifty shades of grey stills

    "Fifty Shades of Grey" is a picture that not only tests my moral judgment as a criticand as a human being for that matterbut it is the quintessential temptation to lure me into breaking my golden rule of thumb. The foundation of my career in film criticism is based on the conviction that the subject matter of a film is somewhat irrelevant, as the structure enshrouding it should be the focal point.

    However, it is not the structure of "Fifty Shades of Grey" that perturbs me but its content, which is essentially a depraved reflection of modern society and our progression to a mindset dominated by primitive sensual instinct. In a manner of speaking, it is a depiction of everything that is wrong with our world today.

    Anastasia Steele, a highly intelligent college senior, is conducting an interview for her school's paper. The interviewee, Christian Grey, is the stereotypical billionaire playboy and a man who does not settle for anything less than what he desires, which in this instance, seems to be our young protagonist. The two individuals slowly form what can be deemed a "normal" relationship, and then the film slips into its unfortunate theme of emotional effect, which I'm sure worked wonders on its target audience. (If you are unaware of the proceedings of the plot, then I'll be as succinct as possible: Grey, a sexual sadist, hires Steele to become his plaything, and, well, you can see where this is headed.)

    The most prominent issue here is the characters and the lack of plausibility and depth that they provide. From an objective standpoint, Anastasia is a character brimming with possibilities and potential. I mean, here is a young woman on the edge of a self-dignified abyss, as she toils with the idea of shunning her pride in order to indulge in a realm of insatiable sexual desires as a means to achieve a specific end: her dream man. (In fact, there is a written contract that actually symbolizes how much self-respect she is willing to give up.)

    Yet, as the internal conflict truly seems rational, her attraction to this newfound beau does not; any self-respecting literature major, who partakes in influences such as Thomas Hardy, would never be attracted to a man of this stature. You may call it irony, but I call it hogwash.

Image result for fifty shades of grey sex pics

    Mr. Grey consists of the more subtle inconceivabilities, as it is hardly believable that a rich entrepreneur and businessman of this worth would be involved with a college student, let alone have time to wallow in human indecency at every moment's turn. An individual of this standing must work to sustain his lifestyle, yet we never see this take place, unless, of course, one considers a few minutes on a laptop to be the extent of a hard day's labor.

    Although the technique of name typing is employed in the name of "Grey," which evokes a sense of mystery and intrigue, there has to be something tangible for the audience to feed on. Naturally, we discover the basis for his raw and boundless pining for pleasure, but by the film's end, there is no way to measure the conflict's effect on his character. (This was obviously done in an effort to impart a "cliffhanger," which will inevitably lead to a sequel, and this is a problem.) If the intention here was to craft an allegory, in which the characters and events represent some mass identity of human nature, then it would be irrevocably brilliant, yet there would still be the complication of providing substance to the literal aspects of the personas.

    There are several scenes powered by sexual excursions, and even though the film banks on these risqué moments, they imply more than they show. Additionally, twenty-first-century communication, such as e-mails and text messages, is utilized to convey a character's emotions in a particular instance and to impel the plot forward. (This is an integration in today's cinema industry that I direly wish was eradicated.) Lastly, the picture relies heavily on its campy dialogue and actions, which can pretty much summarize the film altogetheras a joke with no punch line.

    What's worse is the climax, which becomes forced and rushed, and to be frank, it makes little sense. There is so little conviction in the final act that it arguably unravels everything the story has worked to become up to this point, which if it were true in its design, would be a confrontation of morals.

    This picture is a product driven solely by its romanticized notions of adolescent girl fantasies, clichés, and knight in armor-esque wishes. (What young woman wouldn't want to be whisked away in a private helicopter and spoiled with unimaginable material objects?) These parallel man's requirements to be in control, to nurture, and to lust for a fertile partner. However intricate this view into humanity may seem, it is nothing more than a ploy to cash in on the sadistic realm of modern America's sexual fetishes. And this is troubling.

    Some may say, "Hey, it's just a movie," yet there is a bigger issue here. Profiting off of man's degradation is one thing, but we need to acknowledge this as a problem, not as entertainment. There is a part of me that feels that this picture could have been keenly astute in its aspirations if crafted for a Utilitarian purpose. It bears a slight resemblance to Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut," although it could never attain that level of intellectual engagement even if it tried. I will most likely come back to this film as evidence, which only proves this fact: No matter how immoral it may be, it is significant, even if it should be anything but.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting review. I am yet to see this movie but have read all three books. The story line seems more obvious after reading all three books which unfortunately as you say means a sequel is liking. I suppose it's a case of does the end justify the means? Objectification of women is not ok regardless of what the reason is