[Movie Review] “Fifty Shades of Grey” is entertaining eye candy

Passion in the night. (Yahoo Singapore)
Passion in the night. (Yahoo Singapore)


Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). (Yahoo Singapore)  

Should you watch this at weekend movie ticket prices? If you’ve read the book, yes.

Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? Yes.

Secret ending? No.

Running time: 125 minutes (~2 hours)

“Fifty Shades of Grey” (or 50 Shades of Grey) is a romantic drama that is an adaptation of the novel of the same name. It centres around the sadomasochistic relationship between two young lovers. It stars Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele), Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey), Eloise Mumford (Kate Kavanagh), Luke Grimes (Elliot Grey), and Rita Ora (Mia Grey). It is rated R21.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is one of the most anticipated movies for 2015, mainly due to the already legendary reputation of the book. It’s got good production values and adapts to the film medium fairly well, but whether the core story stands is another matter altogether.


Dakota Johnson is Anastasia Steele. (Yahoo Singapore)


Incredibly good looking cast members

Every single person in the movie has the looks and body of a model – with the resulting attire and attitude to match. If there’s one thing this movie has in spades, it’s physical perfection. Even the mothers are unbelievably beautiful. What more of the two main characters, who have flawless skin and physiques? The only thing that could improve their looks would be if all the actors were 21, which is, of course, ironically impossible given the movie’s rating.

Tastefully done love making scenes

I use “love making” ironically and in complete reference to the movie, of course, but despite the rather esoteric actions taken in the film, it is presented with much grace and class. The core acts are, of course, still off the beaten path, but the scenes themselves don’t repulse or disgust as much as you would expect.

Well adapted to the silver screen

As a movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey” holds its own weight, and doesn’t require you to do additional reading to understand what is happening. It’s not a slavish retelling of the book either, and it does drop many scenes and information from the book, which helps the movie’s pacing and structure. As a film adaptation, the movie succeeds well.


Jamie Dornan is Christian Grey. (Yahoo Singapore)


Cheesy and stilted dialogue

The problem with the lines is that most of it sounds fine, but enough corny exchanges are spouted that jars you back to reality. Perhaps this is one aspect where the film should have deviated more from the book. But then, would it sill be “Fifty Shades of Grey” without all the hammy dialogue?

Emailing instead of texting

It’s very, very weird that they email as if they were texting. Granted, the movie makes the effort to shift this to text messages later, but it feels dated and hackneyed to see them emailing at the beginning.

Conflict comes out of nowhere

The climax of the film sees a conflict that is not foreshadowed in any part of the movie at all. It feels as if Ana just makes up a problem so that there is some sort of crisis to close the movie with. While it may be a twist ending for the next book, it feels too abrupt and hastily concluded. A beat or two earlier would have helped make the ending more natural.


Passion in the night. (Yahoo Singapore)

Comparison with the novel

Having completed the book merely a day before the film’s release, I have to say this is one of the rare occasions where the movie surpasses the book. This is largely due to the fact that more graphic scenes are left out (the infamous tampon scene, and the steel balls situation, to name two). You also don’t get to hear Ana’s whiny internal dialogue, where she perpetually complains about Christian Grey and how he’s doing too much or too little for her. She’s far more likeable in the movie, and much less of selfish, stupid bimbo.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is a rather entertaining film – for all the wrong reasons. Whether or not you agree with the subject matter, there’s no denying that it’s easy on the eyes. But if you could plough through the book, then hey, why not watch the movie as well?

“Fifty Shades of Grey” opens in cinemas 12 February, 2015 (Thursday).

This review was also published on Yahoo Singapore.

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I’m a Singapore television scriptwriter who’s written for Lion Mums, Crimewatch, Police & Thief, and Incredible Tales. I’m also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find me on social media as Optimarcus and on my site.

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  1. [Book Review] “Fifty Shades of Grey” is one long, funny primary school composition | marcus goh

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