Six Things You Need To Know Before Watching ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’
If you haven’t heard, or if you live under a rock, the new Fifty Shades of Grey film hits theaters this Valentine’s Day. The film, which is based off a book of the same name by E.L. James, follows the story of virgin Anastasia Steele, as played by Dakota Johnson, and dominant business man Christian Grey, as played by Jamie Dornan.
While people around the world devoured the book trilogy, informed audiences are putting up a fight now that the film’s almost here. From protests and Twitter campaigns, to whole blogs dedicated to stopping Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s a lot more to this film release than meets the eye. So before you queue up to see the movie that has some people hot, and others hot under the collar, here are six things you need to know about Fifty Shades of Grey.
It started out as a Twilight fanfiction.
Although people may have celebrated this series’ originality when it was first published, it didn't take long for disappointment to catch up with them. As unique as Fifty Shades of Grey may feel, it’s actually just an erotic Twilight knockoff. Not that there's anything creepy about a middle-aged woman writing a story about teens having kinky sex... Fifty Shades of Grey was originally released episodically through a fanfiction website, it’s original title Master of the Universe and James going by the pen-name “Snowqueen’s Icedragon.” Due to the explicit nature of the story, it was removed from the site, and James renamed the piece and launched it on her own website. However once publishers got wind of how popular the story has become, it was taken down from James’ website, the names of the characters were changed (along with some vampiric details) and Fifty Shades of Grey was born.
No one working on this film seems to like it.
From director Sam Taylor-Johnson, to the film’s two stars, no one working on this movie seemed to enjoy their time spent working on the project. According to an article put out earlier this week, the author of the book and the director of the film couldn't see eye to eye on seemingly everything. Thankfully for Taylor-Johnson, she only signed on to direct one film, and it’s unlikely that she’ll be returning to direct either of the two sequels that were announced by Focus Features.
The actors starring in it despise each other.
Normally liking your co-star helps make for good chemistry on set, but that doesn't seem to be a concern for the cast of Fifty Shades of Grey. From possibly the most uncomfortable joint interview for Glamour, to equally awkward photos taken of the on-screen couple, it’s clear that Dornan and Johnson want nothing to do with each other. And if their cringe worthy media circuit wasn't already enough to drive the point across that they’re not the closest of friends, Dornan admitting in an interview on the Today Show that they hate working with each other should make it crystal clear.
It, in no ways, properly depicts the BDSM lifestyle.
With the exception of rope, floggers, and blindfolds, Fifty Shades of Grey massively failed to properly represent the BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism) community. Although Anastasia gives consent (most of the time) to Christian, she’s often made to have sex she’s not comfortable with, but too scared to admit otherwise. Despite her complacency, she’s often left sore and hurting, and leaves their sessions feeling ashamed about herself. Despite its outwards appearance, BDSM isn’t meant to harm anyone, but rather explore shared kinks in a safe setting with the hopes of bringing partners together. Aftercare is also a huge part of the BDSM lifestyle, as it not only tends to any of your partners physical pains but any emotional ones they may be going through, as it can get heavy and intense for both parties during play. However Christian doesn’t practice safe, sane, or truly consensual BDSM with Anastasia, which are all things BDSM needs to be. The Atlantic has a beautifully written and in-depth piece as to why Fifty Shades of Grey failed to properly represent BDSM, and is definitely worth a read before deciding to (hopefully not) see the film.
It romanticizes abusive relationships and domestic abuse.
Fifty Shades of Grey may get BDSM wrong, but it definitely gets an abusive relationship right. The only problem being that it frames this extremely dangerous and controlling relationship as a healthy and romantic one. In addition to Ana’s lack of consent and reluctance to communicate with Christian, she’s also followed, controlled, and her body is treated like Christian’s personal property. Although some BDSM relationships involved a dominant and a submissive partner, the relationship depicted in Fifty Shades of Grey isn't a dominant and submissive one, but one that meets nearly all the criteria of an abusive relationship according to the list on the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website. Given the number of people affected by domestic violence and emotional abuse, the romanticizing of it has left a bitter taste in many people’s mouths.
There are mass international protests asking to ban this movie from theaters.
Although Fifty Shades of Grey promises to be full of sex, it’s the relationship between Christian and Anastasia that has people rallying against this film. With an abusive relationship being highlighted as the romance of the year, people are taking issue with this more than problematic movie. According to the Daily Mail, there have been protests all over the UK against the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, and around the world there are websites that have cropped up and are dedicated to pointing out the problems with Fifty Shades of Grey, including the blog Fifty Shades of Abuse and an extremely poignant piece called "Fifty Things Wrong With Fifty Shades of Grey".
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