Fifty shades of taboo, curiosity, and ambivalence

Fifty shades of taboo, curiosity, and ambivalence

Dornan and Johnson pose as Grey and Steele, respectively, for this promotional picture for the film.

The controversial movie Fifty Shades of Grey, an adaptation of a novel by E.L. James, is finally releasing on Valentine’s Day. Last year, the news of a possible adaptation of this book has had mixed reactions, all ranging between hatred, love, or others being on the fence. Some cringe to the obvious subject matter – bondage – and others are turned on or off. Aside from the well – known reactions, there are more explanations of why this series became a world wide, ambivalent phenomenon.

Millionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan), is a main character in possession of a multitude of baggage, including BDSM or bondage. His desire for this fetish is driven from his inclination to control everything. The title of the series being a metaphor of his internal struggles is explored throughout the book; altogether, millions of readers are fond of his charming, mysterious, and daring character. Another main character is Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson), who falls in love with Grey and has a undeniable and outrageous curiosity and a gentle heart with extreme innocence. Readers also relate and adore her character, especially connected to her with their fascination of Grey.  

E.L. James’s romantic language adds onto the notorious scenes. Bustle.com lists some provocative quotes from the book, “‘You are very responsive. You’re going to learn to control that, and it’s going to be so much fun teaching you how.’…’I found some baby oil. Let me rub on your behind.’…’He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string…what! And gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet. Holy f-k. Sweet mother of all…Jeez'”. James’s distinctive use of descriptive language is right on key. The reader and narrator can completely be attuned to the exact sensual touches between Grey and Steele.

Although there are several sex scenes throughout the book, this is not a porn film. In contrast, there are thousands of people who have this misconception, believing they would clearly see some penetration action. Factually, there is a major difference between a porn and the filming of this movie, which is identical to the techniques other filmmakers do which is to hire actors and actresses (not porn stars) who can create a believable sex scene. Then, the film crew manipulates camera angles, and in the editing room, carefully insinuate that this is a couple having sex. In reality, they are acting and dry humping. Plus, the graphic content will not be identical to the book. On imdb.com, they released an update upon the rating of the movie, “The first draft of the script by writer Kelly Marcel included way more sex and was much more sexually explicit than the final version. In fact she wanted it to be NC-17…However, Universal executives shot down any such plans and the script was considerably tore down both in the number of sex scenes and the explicitness of the sex…” thus, it’s officially rated R. Therefore, if there are some of you who are reluctant for the reason of sexual content, this may lighten your hesitation. 

All in all, give this movie and book a chance. You make like it. There’s only one way to find out. Happy Valentine’s Day!