Fifty Shades Of Grey, movie review: Jamie Dornan’s Christian is like a Chippendale dancer

Sam Taylor-Johnson, 125 mins, starring: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson

Geoffrey Macnab
Wednesday 18 February 2015 13:30
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Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

For all the genius with which it has been marketed and distributed, the film adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey turns out to be anti-climactic on almost every level.

Shot in a glossy style reminiscent of 80s bratpack movies, as if it’s an S&M version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it isn’t funny or ironic enough to work as a guilty treat for a hen night audience.

It doesn’t pass muster as a romantic drama either. Nor does it have the psychological intensity of a Last Tango In Paris.

Sam Taylor-Johnson fails to put any personal stamp on the film. Her heavy handed use of music gives us the impression at times that we’re watching a glorified pop promo on MTV.

The “18” certificate liberates her to push beyond usual Hollywood norms in her portrayal of the goings-on in the “Red Room,” but she is also trying to make a mainstream movie.

The characterisation is flimsy in the extreme. Jamie Dornan’s Christian Grey, the reclusive billionaire with the “singular” tastes, is like a cross between Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre and a Chippendale dancer.

Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia is equally one-dimensional - the Thomas Hardy-loving English Literature student who works part time in a hardware store. They’re both such cartoonish creations that when the filmmakers try to hint at their anxieties and deeper feelings (Christian’s troubled childhood for example), the results are laughable.

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