Movie vs. Book: Fifty Shades of Grey

Contributed by: Christine Anderson

“More” is a word that echoes so much through the book Fifty Shades of Grey and its film adaptation. Fifty Shades follows the journey of a young, naïve college student named Anastasia Steele, who’s on the verge of graduation and starting a new life. Instead of typical post-grad problems, Ana stumbles into a man and a relationship that prove more daunting than finding a job. Christian Grey beguiles Ana. He is immensely attractive, and for the first time in her life, she wants to be kissed. In fact, she wants “more” with him. But falling in love isn’t always “hearts and flowers,” and Christian isn’t your typical boyfriend. He’s a well-known, billionaire CEO whose lifestyle is bizarre, scary and confusing.

The story isn’t just “mommy eroticism” as some have speculated. If the story were solely about a dominant/submissive relationship, it would not have the worldwide acclaim and support it has today. The story shows that love isn’t always simple. It isn’t always about making easy choices. You have to ask yourself what you are willing to change, give up, perhaps even open yourself up to for the person you love.

With a phenomena like Fifty Shades of Grey and the controversy and awe that goes with it, the next step — naturally — is a film adaption. But this isn’t your typical screenplay transformation. This project had the possibility to be a lose-lose scenario when you consider the disappointment dedicated fans could potentially face if the movie was not handled properly, as well as the countless moral, religious, judgmental groups that would be chomping at the bit to condone its very existence. As an educated Fifty Shades fan, I consider the film a tremendous success.

While significantly trimmed down from the book, the movie says so much more than the dialogue on screen, speaking volumes about the story and the relationship between Christian and Ana by not speaking at all. Jamie Dornan proves a master of the closed-off, guarded Christian Grey, conveying pages of dialogue with a series of looks. Christian Grey, at his center, is an often unreadable persona. Reactions of a “lack of chemistry” between the stars demonstrate the lack of understanding that comes from knowing the character of Christian Grey. This is a man who doesn’t understand love. He’s damaged and broken. Key components and quotes from the book were not left out, and fans should feel very satisfied.

As both a fan of the series and someone who understands the moviemakers’ desire for a large profit, the ending was perfection. You are not meant to feel at peace after this movie because that’s not how their story is. It’s wrapped in ups and downs and a lot of layers and this movie needed to set the stage for everything that comes down the line, and it did that perfectly. The movie is witty, and Dakota Johnson (Ana/Anastasia Steele) was perfect for the role. She brought comedic timing to an often dark story and lightened the mood many times. Jamie Dornan brings Christian to life. He is the perfect combination of steely and endearing. Fifty Shades of Grey was made for the fans, and that shows. If you know the story you can’t help but love this movie. People will judge what they do not understand. I never imagined I’d be a part of something so doused in controversy, but I am extremely hopeful that reviews like this take the stigma and the shame out of this story that shows love isn’t always black and white; sometimes it’s grey and on even rarer occasions it’s “fifty shades” of grey.

Get Fifty Shades of Grey in paperback for $8.97.

Or on your Kindle for $2.99.

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1 Comment

Filed under Movie vs. Book

One response to “Movie vs. Book: Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. Augie W

    I loved your review! Finally, someone who understands what it’s all about.

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