Sexual Tension Absent in Cinematic Version of Raunchy Novel

Fifty Shades of Disappointment

By Lucia Rossi

The highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey film was a complete disappointment compared to the infamous novel by E. L. James.

The film was merely a skeleton of the book, as if it was stripped of all its humor, quirkiness, depth, and fantasy.

The first six chapters of the book were so much of a reincarnation of Twilight that it hurt. This is somewhat expected since it started as a spin-off fan fiction. However afterwards, the story picks up the momentum with lots of witty humor in the conversations, the taboo sex scenes, and the mysterious backgrounds and issues behind the main characters. These things that made the book so great, were not represented well in the film.

The book had very convincing explanations to the viewers that are skeptical about BDSM and presented good arguments as to how it is not rape, sexual abuse, and all the anti-feminist assumptions people make about the film. In the movie, there was none of that, so Christian Grey seemed much more creepy and stalker-like, and Anastasia Steele looked like a victim, when actually she’s not suppose to be.

The novel is written from Anastasia Steele’s point of view. Her character is quiet and spirited. Reading her thoughts in her mind however was entertaining because she curses often, constantly second guesses herself, and scolds herself when she thinks she did something stupid. This helped to know what she was feeling which in turn helped make sense of what was going on. Since you don’t know what she thinks in the movie, her actions seemed random and unexplained.

The movie skipped many small scenes in the book that connected one scene to the next. Without those small connecting scenes, at one point it looked like Anastasia completely ditched her mother for Christian when in the book her mother told her to go to him.

Ana had no dream sequences either in the film. She didn’t talk much to her friends, there were not many email exchanges between her and Christian, and much more background information could have been given to make certain actions make sense. For example, there was no mention of how Christian felt about Ana biting her lip or rolling her eyes, so when he reacted, viewers would have to make a guess.

There was no witty banter between them, which was a shame since in the book they make fun of each other, they challenge each other, and it is clear why they like each other. In the film, it isn’t clear at all why they like each other and how it is evolving.

The book was much more humorous, yes there were a few funny awkward moments between the two main characters, but certainly not enough because Christian Grey was much more stoic and unemotional than he was in the novel. Anastasia’s clumsiness, awkwardness, and witty charm showed through in the film though.

The sex scenes were the biggest let down. The sex scenes on HBO shows are more exciting than the ones they had. It is true that the book contains so many sex scenes that the film of course could not display all of them, especially the ones that were more taboo and intense than others. This was not a porn film and it was not as sexually violent as people make it sound. Far from it in fact, you might even get bored. It is understandable how the filmmakers wanted to avoid NC-17 movie rating, but overall the sex scenes were short, quiet, similar, and unexciting.

Sorry ladies, no full frontal from Jamie Dornan. Dakota Johnson has a beautiful body as well but her acting during sex was repetitive and unreadable. Where were the orgasms that she unrealistically got every single time in the book?

One part of the book I was glad to live without was the many times that Ana said she blushed or flushed. Let’s be honest, if we had a dollar for every time that happened we would be as rich as Christian Grey.

Compared to the novel, the film seemed half-assed, cheap, and rushed. A lot of it did not make sense if you didn’t read the book. It was true to the book in most of the scenes and in the script, but left out its most likable parts.


2 replies »

  1. I am in complete agreement with you. Nearly all the humor and playful exchanges were missing in the movie. Such a shame. I don’t know if this can be remedied in the sequels, but I certainly hope they try. The next two movies need a new director and a new scriptwriter. Why not let E. L. James write the script? She wrote the books, afterall, and has a better grasp of what made the books entertaining. Let her have a shot at it.

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