by Monika Barta
First kiss. First love. First sexual experience. Even the first sip of hard liquor or the first smoke.
When remembered, all of these things leave a significant and unique after-taste. The scary part of this inherently sentimental thought, however, lies under the fact that whatever the nature of any of these and other first times is that cannot be changed.
The scandalous and well advertized Fifty Shades of Grey undoubtedly resulted in an increase of headaches for boyfriends who were dragged to the movie’s premiere on Valentine’s day this year..
The movie was expected to be just as close to crossing the line of what is generally perceived as socially appropriate as was the erotic romance novel written by E.L. James.
However, even while taking the fact that the wide-range advertising of the movie might have resulted in a significant rise in the crowd’s expectations, Fifty Shades of Grey can undoubtedly be called disappointing.
Even though it is clear that many scenes were intended to cause the viewers to hold their breaths and shiver in silence while waiting for the hopefully electric culmination, cheezy is the word to describe the scenes.
It wouldn’t be so bad if such a mistake would’ve occurred once or twice. However, the viewer’s emotions were played by lifting their wistful hopes and were diminished with any sign of intrigue throughout the movie; starting with one of the first scenes, in which the glances of Anastasia Steel and Christian Grey cross for the first time. Instead of a thrilling sense of forbidden attraction lingering in the air, the first interaction of the two main characters was depicted in an artificial and mundane manner.
Anastasia’s nerdy shyness and overly conservative style alone would have served as enough of a clue of her innocent character; her backwards-fall in the fancy office doorway of the oh-so-mysterious businessman Grey as if somebody have slipped an invisible banana peel right under her prehistoric shoe was completely unnecessary.
During the interview, while the english literature major Anastasia unassumingly rolls the end on the pen Grey has just given to her, through her full, untouched lips, the former is daydreaming about the sinful fantasies that could be impersonated by the charming brunette in front of him.
Higher than average social status, power and emotionlessness is long been known as the main triggers of attraction for high school girls; therefore, it is no surprise that Christian gets what he wants, and of course, after a little effort and a lot of money, he gets Anastasia, too.
The naive girl easily gives her virginity up to a man she barely knows. The emphasis of her motives for such action are of course non-existent. However, it can be easily presumed that Anastasia was fascinated by the predatory and untamed instincts that were of many dominative qualities held by Christian Grey; his spacious house, a dozen fancy cars, sumptuous suits, all of this topped by his private jet, warrants a whole new term for ‘too much’ in the dictionary.
Anastasia’s virginity was suppose to serve as a highlight to all the kinky scenarios to which Grey wished to give life to; the problem here, however, is that even though the intense sexual nature of the movie was used as the main bait for the potential viewers, it wasn’t of often presence. In fact, the number of scenes actually depicting this so-to-say out of the frame sexual practice can be summed up to less than the number of fingers on one hand.
Furthermore, many of these scenes imply a false, more pervasive and less passionate impression for those who aren’t well familiar with BDSM. In one of the scenes, Christian unveils the reason for the out-of-the-box hobby of his. His dark and trauma-filled past is supposed to serve as an explanation to viewers of more conservative and traditional beliefs; however, considering that this movie is one of the first with a supposedly strong emphasis on such topic, its introduction to the crowd should have been attended with special delicacy and preciseness.
“I'm so tired of hearing how damaged the person is, just because they're into BDSM,” said Stephanie Hunter Jones, a sex therapist with 15 years of experience as a professional BDSM player.
Jones went on to mention that in all BDSM relationships, the submissive has the power to back down from the game at any time. According to Jones, it’s more of a matter of how familiar the submissive is with his or her self-boundaries, rather than that of how high the expectations and urges of the dominant might be. Coercion, both emotional and physical, is not one of the ingredients of BDSM.
I believe that the following wouldn’t be an issue if the topic of such and similar relationships would be better known to the general public; however, since it’s not, Fifty Shades of Grey leaves an impression that the practice of BDSM has nothing to do with love.
Christian is portrayed as a teenage player who avoids emotions or attachment at any cost. The falsity here, however is not within the fact itself but in the light that it is being presented in. Today’s commercialization of submissiveness and emotionlessness already has resulted in an increased number of sexual partners and, not to mention, diseases. The coldness and carelessness presented by Christian’s character already are falsely planted as a something to aspire for for teenage girls. Sexual submissiveness shouldn’t be portrayed as a shield protecting one from heartbreak; for it actually is an issue of trust, lack of personal value given to intimacy, or maturity.
Characters like Christian’s, amaturely running away from any responsibilities involving spouses, should be left for high school musicals, and not adult movies.
Fifty Shades of Grey has an overall image similar to that of what a hypothetical common creation of Salvador Dali’s flighty surrealism and the classical strokes of Van Gogh.
The mixture of a romantic love story which Anastasia longed for while turning pages of numerous books and the scurrilous sex-tape-like delusion created in Christian’s twisted mind doesn’t play a clear chord in this case.