50 Shades of Grey movie lives up to the novel’s expectations

Jacky Tsang

Staff Writer

    The movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey” (Rated R), directed by Samantha Taylor-Johnson, was a highly anticipated movie. Many people who have read the book written by E. L. James, including I, were curious to see how another person visually depicted the story. Needless to say, it was what everyone had expected: a little twisted and very steamy.

Dakotah Johnson plays the virginal college senior Anastasia “Ana” Steele, an English literature major attending Washington State University in Vancouver, Washington. Her story begins when her roommate, Kate, falls ill, and she has to take her place to interview the highly respected 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Ana is unaware that Christian has a few secrets of his own, one including his elaborate “playroom.” Ana, captivated by the mystifying, intense, but gorgeous Christian Grey, discovers she is submissive to him. As a result, she frequently, and willingly, engages in sexual intercourse with him.


In comparison to the novel, the movie was definitely worse. However, in terms of the movie itself, the director successfully entertains the audience through cinematography, performance, and soundtrack.

Like most movies, this one is just like any other generic love story: the guy is trouble, but she is “special” enough to change him. From their first awkward encounter to their last, the two experience a back-and-forth relationship, from domination to couple-activities and so on.

“Fifty Shades” is the second movie directed by Samantha Taylor-Johnson. She worked along with Kelly Marcel and Jamie Dornan to create a rendition of the novel. The collaborators seemingly have decided to take a slow, sensual approach to the erotic novel, rather than the graphic sexuality displayed in the books, creating a psychologically mysterious movie.

Many people thought “Fifty Shades” was going to be a horrible movie when the trailer was released. However, Johnson’s great expertise in acting and Taylor-Johnson’s great directorial leadership were the reasons why the movie was better than expected.

The soundtrack of the movie also played a major role in effectively bringing the book to the big screen. Taylor-Johnson intelligently used music as a way to grasp the audience’s attention and make each scene more sensual and lively between the two main characters.

The movie also explored multiple themes in just over two hours: bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism, reward and punishment, pleasure and pain. At the end of the movie, Taylor-Johnson leaves us with an abrupt cliffhanger, suggesting in the following sequels that Ana will somehow change the beliefs that Christian currently follows.


Final thoughts: Taylor-Johnson does a great job in her depiction of the novel. The movie follows the book accurately and provides a perfect visual image of the novel—though some very minor details were left out. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is steamy yet exquisite, slightly uncomfortable and sometimes plain cute, and definitely worth your time.

Rate: 8/10



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