This week: 50 Shades of Grey

written by Lhynette Alejandro

When Anastasia Steele, a literature student, goes to interview the wealthy Christian Grey, as a favor to her roommate Kate Kavanagh, she encounters a beautiful, brilliant and intimidating man. The innocent and naive Ana started to realize she wants him, despite his enigmatic reserve and advice, she finds herself desperate to get close to him. Not able to resist Ana's beauty and independent spirit, Christian Grey admits he wants her too, but in his own terms. Ana hesitates as she discovers the singular tastes of Christian Grey - despite the embellishments of success, his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family - Grey is consumed by the need to control everything. 

“I exercise control in all things Ms. Steele." -  Christian Grey

Three main thoughts about the movie -

Uno: Elegance...elegance everywhere...
As much as we all know or at least have a slight idea of what this movie is, whips, the BDSM culture - the movie's style, characters and settings were over the top sophisticated and tasteful. It all revolves around Christian Grey and his success in life. The classy feel of the movie was established right in the beginning as Anastasia Steele went into Christian's office for some interview for a friend. She enters his office (she trips and falls on her face) - and the camera pans to a huge office, with a beautiful view of the Seattle skyline - his office being the CEO/President/Founder of everything sexy...had floor to ceiling glass windows. The super modern and masculine office furniture, very minimalist and a great contrast the the shiny marble floor (i am assuming it's marble). The freaking helicopter that took Ana and Christian back to Christian's penthouse suite...COME ON…is this real life? Can I get a ride? Let's not forget to mention the new car Christian gifted Ana for graduation. But what really stood out for me is the “playroom”. Whips, handcuffs and harnesses hanging in every corner of the room but they were neatly organized and placed in these shelves and holders. It takes out the “kinkyness” and the awkwardness of the movie for me. The BDSM culture (and I am sure this movie is a bit over the top and doesn’t quite capture the culture itself so please pardon me and I don’t want to offend anyone) is more than just the tools..and the sex. It exists in real life, and this movie portrayed it in a way where…it’s not awkward, it’s not taboo, it’s just how people live. It’s not in some dungeon or someone’s basement. It got me past the giggling and the blushing – because Christian Grey is serious about this secret. It’s not some game to him. It’s part of his sophisticated, high-class standards, and that definitely shows through his one passion. his playroom.

Dos. Anastasia's transformation.
From girl to a level with Grey. Her wardrobe slowly evolved, and the innocent little virgin girl persona was also transformed to a more dominant character - even though Ana's character was the "submissive" in this movie, she was playing Christian Grey...and has him eating out the palm of her hand.

Anastasia Steele throughout the whole movie, keeps Grey hanging by not signing the contract and going back and forth on her feelings for him. Two scenes that are my favorite were the meeting scene, where Anastasia and Christian discuss the contract for Ana to fully agree and commit to be Christian’s submissive. The whole meeting, Anastasia was being a tease to Christian by showing him what he wanted to see – body language “ your legs are pressed together, you’re flushed” making Christian think she wanted him…but at the end of the meeting---even when Christian asks her to stay, Anastasia just leaves. Second scene I liked is when Anastasia left Christian’s penthouse for good, which is the last scene of the movie. She’s had enough of Christian’s unwillingness to give her romance and love – and to top it off, Anastasia let Christian take her in the playroom to be “punished.". Anastasia goes to the playroom, bends over on the leather bench/table and Christian instructs her to count with him as she whips her six times…after the sixth whip, Anastasia is crying – and tells Christian “You will never do that to me again!” She bolts off and leaves. As much as the movie was such a back and forth on what Ana wanted from Christian, and what Christian was willing to give to her – that was the final straw. She should not understand why Christian would want to “punish” her and see her unhappy while getting pleasure out of it. I’m not going to lie, the majority of the movie shows Christian and Anastasia doing this back and forth dance towards each other, but within those scenes, you can see Anastasia’s transformation as she takes control over her own emotions and actions..and chooses herself over what Christian wants from her – despite the fact that she has fallen in love with Christian. NO MORE MS. NICE GIRL!

Three. Beyond the shades...the love story is endearing.
The scene after Grey’s family dinner – where Christian declares “you’re the one changing me," the two characters are falling hard for each other. I was confused – because for Christian to be the “dominant” why is he chasing after this girl? Why is he taking her on these plane rides and lavish dinners and taking her to meet is family? Giving her first edition books of some famous authors…WHY? THEN BAM...this dude is head over heels for her too. As cheesy as it is…I liked the love story between Christian and Anastasia. They both bring something to the table. Anastasia enlightened Christian to a type of relationship he has never had before, and Christian enlightened her…to well….you know, de-flowering her and helping her find out how she likes it in bed. And the possibilities are endless. Christian takes care of her, and she takes care of Christian emotionally…by being by his side – and the whole movie…Anastasia doesn’t sign the contract one bit. So, not to get into more cheesy stuff, because I’m a girl and I am well aware this is JUST a movie, it is endearing and it sucked me in. It’s a really good contrast to the whole sexy theme of the movie. Because what girl doesn’t want to be romanced by a young, tall glass of handsome every now and then. Sign me up! Sign me up for the “love and handsome man” deal, sans the other things.

I am giving Fifty Shades a 2 out of 4, Hell Yeah. But not as enthusiastic...the actors are new, Anastasia's fake naive thirst for Christian Grey got old really quick. The whole back and forth got annoying. But the overall story behind BDSM was quite a learning experience for me, the culture truly does exists. I tried to really hate this movie, because I felt shy for liking it and telling everyone to watch it because it has that enigma of “oh you freak…” but seriously, it’s much more than that. I was drawn by the sophistication and elegance the movie has, the evolution of Anastasia’s character and the love story of Christian and Anastasia. You’ll giggle, you’ll laugh, you’ll be annoyed and frustrated…What the heck…go watch it! 
Five thoughts from watching the trailer:
1. Who is this actress?
2. Show his face already.
3. ....well Hello Mr. Grey. Nice office.
4. This Crazy in Love remix is catchy.
5. What the hell is this room?

2 out of 4



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