Saturday, 22 September 2018

For the Shady lady?

THE book sold 70 million copies around the world. Now the film adaptation of EL James’ BDSM erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey

THE book sold 70 million copies around the world. Now the film adaptation of EL James’ BDSM erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey is being unleashed at cinemas, with Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson playing uber-saucy couple Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

Directed by Brit artist turned director Sam Taylor-Johnson, the trailer quickly racked up more than 100 million views from people eager to see the first glimpses of the young virgin’s seduction by the debonair billionaire with a penchant for tying people up - and down - in meetings.

The rousing tale of a sexual dominant who cuts out the hearts and flowers stuff and gets straight down to business has touched a - ahem - chord with millions of hardcore fans who devoured all three books in the series. Cinemas are bracing themselves for all-women fan gangs storming box offices today, proving that not all ladies want teddy bears and roses for Valentine’s Day.

The clunking prose of the novels have never bothered their faithful followers, and the more graphic scenes had to be diluted for a chance of being shown at any cinema outside Soho’s grubbiest corners. So is it any good?

Early screenings have revealed that, like the book, it takes a while to get to the dirty bits. Once Grey unveils his nondisclosure agreement and shows Anna his S&M “playroom”, things start to heat up. Kelly Marcel’s screenplay is faithful to the book and therefore preserves some of its cringe-worthy dialogue.



Dornan’s ice-cool Mr Grey starts to thaw and reveals a more vulnerable side to the sexy super-capitalist, hinting at a troubled past, while Johnson’s Ana conveys innocence, then a growing yearning.

There have been warnings of protests outside cinemas from groups concerned at the promotion of sexual violence against women, but the film glosses over the big moral issues (is it ever right to hit a woman, even if she asks for it?) and sticks to the mutual consent line.

Fans of the books may want to see how it plays out on the big screen, while people less familiar with Christian’s “red room of pain“ may decide it’s an opportunity to experiment - or go to see Big Hero 6 instead.

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