Fifty Shades Of Grey: The Next Twilight Saga?

Fifty Shades Of Grey. Fifty Shades Of Grey. Fifty Shades Of Grey!!!! That’s all anyone was talking about and clicking links to once the movie was soon to be showing in theatres. The publicity Christian Grey’s suits and good-looks generated alone were probably enough to push the movie to break-even (sarcasm intended).

Before I start this review, I think it’s fair for y’all to know that I have not read the book. I am a movie enthusiast and I love a good movie any given night. Me and my friend decided to give the famous Mr.Grey a shot the night before spring break started. What did we have to lose, right? We figured if it was going to be a good movie, then great! If not, at least we’ll get a good laugh out of it. The lack of chemistry between the actors, the bad camera angles, and the rush in the plot change seemed funny and pointless at the time. However, when I gave it some more thought, I was a little concerned.

Yes, if one found normal ‘love-stories’ to have a lack of nudity and sexual ‘passion’ then maybe you’d like the way this movie progresses. In my opinion, the female lead needed more work. Her character development throughout the movie was quite confusing and it kept going back and forth till the very end of the movie. I thought Christian Grey had a mysterious feel. He was dark and twisty in his own way and played the role of a dominant throughout the movie quite nicely. All in all, there was no chemistry.

Regardless of how the movie went on and how I would like to pick it apart, I have a bigger concern. I am concerned about the change in mentality this movie could bring about. While the U.S. has more regulations and will try its best to keep this movie out of reach from minors, other countries with much less control over movie viewers will probably be distributing this to everyone who can pay for it. How much damage could that do, one may wonder?

Remember when us early-20-somethings were 15 and Twilight was a thing? How the mind-reading Edward and mysterious Bella were star-cross lovers and we loved every bit of that story? Well… Christian and Anastasia could be the new them, except there is no longer an entirely fantasy-world-of-vampires-and-werewolves shielding us. Those who did not know BDSM was a preference and a lifestyle now know it exists and, even worse, probably think it’s the cool thing to do just because these characters do. Even those who probably don’t even know enough about sex, consent or healthy relationship dynamics are probably now in love with the idea of BDSM.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against BDSM. It’s a preference and a choice that consenting adults make. But what happens to minors who get exposed to it for the first time through Fifty Shades Of Grey? It scares me that Christian and Anastasia could become the new ‘IT’ couple that high school and middle school couples aspire to be. Men who grow up in already male-dominated societies will now find more comfort in a story such as this. Yes, there have been other movies in the past which were inappropriate for children and there will be more in the future. However, this particular movie has had so much social media presence that its reach and fans go way beyond a normal inappropriate movie in the wrong hands.

What I took away from this movie and the concerns I had after watching it: I wish societies would take a step towards actually having conversations about intimate relationships, consent and sex at the same rate as these movies come out and beg us to have these concerns. Maybe somewhere deep-down the point of this story was to raise awareness about violence and consent? Who knows? It definitely has generated a lot of debate about consent and domestic violence. We can never be too sure about the original intention of movies or their aftermath. Hopefully people will ask more questions instead of being consumed by the unrealistic concepts proposed in this movie. Hopefully… the world won’t see any more college students raping their partners to reenact scenes from Fifty Shades Of Grey. And hopefully we’ll get better at protecting the next generation of adults, a lot better than how Christian protected Anastasia’s choices.

-Suaida Firoze

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