Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fifty Shades of Schupidness (book/movie review)

Nothing to see here.

I was curious about the movie...the soundtrack sounded dope. The visuals look enticing, helicopters, and pretty condos. It seemed like it might be something intriguing. Young girl. Rich dude. Why not? I refused to watch the movie without reading the books. That's how this journey began.

E. L. James hit the jackpot with this story, and what kind of writer would I be if I didn't at least attempt to check it out?! Well, I didn't make it through the entire book, maybe 65% according to my Kobo e-reader. I wanted to see what the literary hype was, and for the first say, 30% or so, I was into it. Typical fluffy love story, a light read, I could get down with it.

It wasn't half as "sexual" or terrible as I thought it would be...but after a while, it was redundant. Christian and his demands. Anastasia biting her lip...ooh, "don't bite the lip or I'll have to punish you" about 65% I just gave up on the book entirely, and decided to check out the film.

Womp. Womp.

I wonder if the movie flows better to someone who hasn't read the book (or a portion of it), with a detailed frame of reference. I wonder if there are romantic types out there that thought that Christian's on-screen pursuit of Ana was believable and sensual? I wonder if it's just me, or was this entire set up just terrible. Forced chemistry, with no real substance. 

First of all, as I was reading the book I couldn't help but picture the film characters, after seeing numerous commercials and media coverage. I kinda hate that, because it takes away from the imagination a bit. That being said, I think Dakota Johnson, as Anastasia Steele, was a good match. Innocent. Pretty. Naive. It worked. But Christian (Jamie Dornan)...for ALL the hype they had finding the "right" dude to play him, hiring and firing actors, and searching and trying to capture the perfectly sexy and appealing man to play this character. Like, no. Not attractive. Not sexy. Not anything, really. If anything...I thought Christian's character on-screen was creepy. Unemotional. Then too emotional. Always staring and popping up places. Who would actually tolerate a stranger like that?!

Creepy. There's a good word to sum up this entire Fifty Shades experience! I thought it was supposed to be sensual, and it was just weird. I haven't even finished reading the book, mind you, so it's possible there is some great revelation in the remaining 35% that I didn't get to, that might change my mind about the entire experience. But the fact that I don't have the energy to find out just goes to show how interested I am either way, in seeing if the film ending and the book ending measure up.

As many adapted novels-to-movies, the film seemed to jump around. I didn't see any natural chemistry building, and the couple went from 0 to 100 with no logical explanation. The book had many email exchanges, and at least an internal thought process to work with...but the movie was just cheesy as they exchanged brooding glares and felt these uncontrollable urges, with no other form of communication or understanding. Who does that?

The "Red Room" in the book didn't seem as terrible as that dungeon looked in the movie. As soon as Christian opened the door in the movie and Ana walked in, it took everything in me NOT to yell at the TV for that chick to run for the hills. Who would stick around for that? And he closed the door behind her?? Uh uh. No way. Red flag, girlfriend. Millions, billions, or trillions of dollars later...from I see that organized inventory of whips and shackles, I'm gone. Despite the gifts. The laptop was nice, and the red Audi was a fabulous touch...but otherwise, it was straight out of a horror movie, and the fact that she didn't even flinch just took away the realism of this movie for me.

What young girl...what VIRGIN, at that, is going to walk into that kind of situation and not bat an eye? Even after reading Christian's detailed contract, and witnessing his hot-then-cold attitude, I still found it weird that Ana managed to keep her cool throughout, and not think that this psychopath was out to rape, murder, or torture her.

I'm not going to knock anyone's sexual choices and definition of fun, but this movie wasn't it. The book was barely it. If this was supposed to be a fantasy, it fell really short. The best part for ME was seeing and hearing Christian play that Chopin piece on the piano. Now THAT was a fantasy, a man with some talent, working an instrument! Sweet! Otherwise, his whole woe-is-me I was starving when I was four-years-old and seduced by an older woman at fifteen sob story wasn't moving me. He, in all his power and success, truly just seemed manipulative and mean.

I loved the end of the movie when Ana decided to go home and walk away from this circus. When he whipped her, she cried, and she finally had that WTF moment, put on her clothing, and dipped. That was the most realistic part of this franchise of schupidness, when Ana came to her senses and realized this shit wasn't cool, on any level!!

Waste of time, but at least I saw first hand what the hype was about. The writing was just "meh"...I'm not even going to bother with the follow up books in the trilogy: "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed"...if Anastasia decides to go back to that dude and try to save him, and teach him how to love...I'm so not interested. If you ask me, her friend Jose was the man to be with. Loyal. Talented. Sweet. And HE (in the movie) was HOT.

But boy, that Chopin piano song that sad Christian played in the dark sho' was beautiful, and the Weeknd song "Earned It" at the closing credit kills. Soooo dope. A perfectly wonderful musical soundtrack, for a perfectly waste-of-time story. I knew I should have just read my Canadian Black History Month selections in my down time this week. Shame on me.

Written by Stacey Marie Robinson for Kya Publishing's "Urban Toronto Tales" blog.

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