Sunday 15 February 2015

50 Shades Of Grey (2015) - Sam Taylor-Johnson

50 Shades Of Grey

It was a typical Saturday. I'd buried my head in Thomas Hardy novels, finished my shift at the hardware store and was off to the cinema with friends. I wouldn't be drinking of course, I'm boring like that. I'm not even sure why my friends put up with me. And so, decades old flip-phone in hand, I headed down the street to the cinema, running in my weirdly pointy Aladdin-style flat shoes, my poorly cut fringe plastered to my forehead.

We were about to watch a film called 50 Shades Of Grey. I'd never heard of it, because I'm really boring and far removed from popular culture. I still have a MySpace page you know. My friends were eager to see it so I tagged along. It's because I'm a really passive personality, incapable of making any sort of decision for myself. If only I had a partner to control me and tell me what to do 24 hours a day...

Anyway, we settled into our seats and the film began. It was pretty dull to begin with. Quite literally actually: the film director had taken the title to heart with the visuals. Being an average girl with average looks, average intelligence and zero personality, I really identified with the character of Ana. For instance, my friends are far more bubbly than I am and I too am incapable of walking through doorways without falling over. She even had my shitty flip phone and penchant for frumpy hand-me-down fashion!

But then there he was: Christian Grey. My eyes widened as I stared at the screen, my teeth involuntarily biting my lip. The crisp white shirt, the lightly curled hair, the grey eyes as grey and lifeless as everything else on the screen. My inner goddess was doing somersaults. It was if this Adonis of a man was staring right at me, no other person in the cinema existed. But why would this impossibly rich and handsome man who apparently does no work whatsoever but has somehow amassed a fortune and the most amazing flat I've ever seen be looking at me? I gnawed on my lip and gurned like a starving junkie. Not that I've done drugs. Did I tell you I'm boring?

And then there were the sex scenes. My friends told me there were less than in the book and some scene with a tampon had been removed. But it didn't matter to me. The mere sight of Christian removing his top was enough for me to feel the love balls between my thighs stirring in my panties. My inner goddess, meanwhile, was doing unspeakable things. Christian leered into the screen with those dark eyes, seemingly whispering straight in to my ear, and bit into a piece of toast with a ravenous hunger that reminded me of my own. I chewed my lip for good measure, the blood dribbling down my chin.

Being a virgin (boring), the idea of being dominated and spanked seemed new yet apparently perfectly normal to me and the sex scenes were nowhere near as erotic as the media has apparently made out (my friends are journalists, I'm too boring to read a newspaper). As Beyoncé purred the words to a song called Crazy In Love (I'd never heard it), Christian's whip cracked, there was a flash of glorious pubic hair and then he was thrusting. I felt myself flowering in my seat. I didn't care that Christian had no personality and the central couple made no sense. I didn't care that he was buying affection through improbable gifts (oh look a car!), even though a new phone would've been ideal. I didn't care that Christian had no issue touching up girls in front of his family (with one apparently famous girl in a silly wig and an incomprehensible accent). I didn't care that this was a highly unbelievable adult fairytale that my inner goddess would be wet dreaming about later. Pass me the contract, and I'd sign before you can say "red room of pain", preferably with a Grey-branded pencil I can suck on suggestively. It'd give my lip a break.

Towards the end it all got a bit dark. Christian confessed he was "fifty shades of fucked up" (my inner goddess suddenly realising what the title meant, the stupid cow) and his vulnerability finally revealed an ounce of personality. The film was a power play that, far from glorifying a BDSM relationship, was about an average girl changing a very troubled man for the better. The English literature student in me found this intensely deep and moving, whilst my inner goddess wanted Christian to move in deeply. The slut.

And then, in a dramatic climax it all ended as it began in a lift, leaving me gasping for more as I gave my bruised lips a final nibble like tasteless chewing gum. From now on I won't do romance. I've been enlightened. My tastes are very singular: Christian Grey.

Holy cow.