When the 50 Shades of Grey book phenomena hit the shelves I quietly downloaded it onto my kindle, then I steadfastly ignored it. I love reading but I'm not so ambitious and don't like it if I start a book and can't get it into it. I feel like a failure. I frequently judge books by covers which is something the kindle has somewhat removed. I also had quite a few friends who read it and not one gave it a good review. Appalling writing seemed to be the main objection. I'm no high-brow reader, I love a good chick-lit story, but it put me off. Also, I'm a commuting reader and didn't want to be all flushed on the 7.40am to Waterloo after reading a bit of soft erotica.
So it was with mild curiosity I found myself at the cinema watching the film with my friend. She asked me to go and I felt duty bound to say yes.
We settled down in a 3/4 full screening with minimal men to be seen. I don't think I had seen either the main actor: Jamie Dornan and actress: Dakota Johnson in anything previously. A quick check on IMDB (I love that site!) confirmed this.
The premise is Christian Grey and man who had an extremely bad start in life and adopted by an apparently well off family has made good and is now a multi-billionaire. He has many love and trust issues and at the age of 15 was seduced by a "Mrs Robinson" type person into her world of erotic dominance/submission. Anastasia Steele is a young college graduate who also has a slightly skewed perspective on love, probably because of a four times wed Mother, and is pulled into his world through her own naive curiosity.
Throughout the film there quite a few sex scenes, however; I didn't find them mildly erotic or particularly shocking. From the first screening, it's been headlined about groups protesting against violence against women. I agree there should never be violence against women in a relationship but that's not what this film is about.
Yes Christian Grey is a controlling character but the message I got from the film is; it's about freedom of choice. He never forces Ana to bend to his will. Yes he exerts some pressure by buying expensive gifts; but there is an exhaustive contract of rules of which she can and does negotiate. She has the choice to say yes or no or just plain STOP.
The end of the film was slightly disappointing but as it's a trilogy, they've obviously left the door open for the next film.
Overall it was better than I thought it would be, but if you're not so into the hype, wait for it to come out on DVD or on TV.
I doubt I'll be sending Mr M out to the DIY store for rope, tape and cable ties.