Wednesday, 18 February 2015

REVIEW - FIFTY SHADES OF GREY (SAM TAYLOR-JOHNSON)


Curiosity abounds in reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey - exactly whom is this film for? The great debate about female sexuality is only enriched by its existence, though what conclusions some may come to as a result of said debate may only be cheapened. If most straight women derive their deepest pleasure from the mere promise of perversity, I'll swiftly admit to not knowing most straight women (I don't, alas, I don't even have 700 Facebook friends). Fifty Shades of Grey is all foreplay - expect two sequels, ofc - but not even stimulating foreplay, since it's largely hollow discussions about romance set askew by the suggestion of perversion, and only ever the suggestion. No matter how much portent Sam Taylor-Johnson and Kelly Marcel imbue their tiresome melodrama with, it never delivers on it, never forms into something substantial. The film's sleek visual design doesn't just demand to be soiled by the inglorious ick of the S&M experience that Christian Grey desires, it actually requires it in order to function as anything more remarkable than interior design porn. Fifty Shades is, indeed, porn of many different varieties - indecision porn, shaky backstory porn, scenes of Dakota Johnson's top being removed porn, love interest with no compelling agency nor integrity porn - just never proper sex porn. It's a film for people who like to be promised a lot, then provided a little. Performances range from Johnson's charismatic commitment to Jamie Dornan's abismal accent; the soundtrack is a medley of contemporary pop tracks which, in context, do nothing to serve the film's lacklustre style.