The past couple of weeks people all over the world have been excited about the much anticipated and highly publicized book turned movie Fifty Shades of Grey. I saw myself getting bitten by FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) bug and rushed to the movie theatre to see this erotic romantic drama and after seeing the movie all I can say is hmmm… This is both a good and a bad thing. Can I just quickly point out that I will not be reviewing the movie but rather discussing issues that I saw in the movie in which we are still struggling with in contemporary society. Having read the first book of the trilogy written by EL James which was a best-seller and comparing the book to the movie obviously the book was better BUT before you decide to not watch the movie, it did have good and bad moments.
As expected the movie does have a lot of sex scenes but they focus on S&M which means Sadist and Masochism which is practise of using pain as a sexual stimulant. My first point of departure is the way in which the entertainment industry is putting out a movie that shows the sexual practise of bondage and dominance. The society we live in has a problem of female sexual abuse and rape which is a serious problem and now we have a movie that portrays this sexual kind of abuse in a sexy and enticing way to the mainstream. The movie gives us the impression that the girl (Anastasia) seems to secretly enjoy being tied up, spanked and abused but in the red room of pain. Is this realistic though? In this world we live in can we really see those scenes and feel like they will all be conceived in the same way by the individuals who see it? We live in a world that thrives on what the media feeds us and we take that as what we perceive as “right”.
Christian Grey who is one of the main characters is a handsome billionaire and portrays the image of perfection. He is a gentleman, he has a romantic side and obviously he is rich. His eye is caught by Anastasia who is a cute and shy literature student and the roller-coaster relationship starts. From the beginning of their relationship Christian already starts buying Anastasia expensive gifts from books to laptops and already this shows a side of power and dominance. By nature we know that men have a dominant character in them and for generations now in society this has been a problem because between males and females in terms of power sharing. In the 20th and 21st Century we have seen women fight to reclaim their own power and in the movie I saw none of that. All I saw in the movie is the typical man having more power than the female and I see it being taken to the extreme in terms of how Christian always has his way with Anastasia. This alpha-ego territorial behaviour is what Christian Grey is all about. He is respected in the world because of how powerful he is and he even forces women to show him that power as well.
The movie is based on power, dominance and submissiveness and this is not only in the sexual sense but in everyday life situations. In the media today we see it all the time in music videos and movies, females are being reduced to satisfy the needs of the male ego. The females are used as sex objects whilst the males are the ones making the money and buying the females cars and clothes. Fifty Shades of Grey in my opinion is nothing but another way to show men being powerful because of their stature in life while the women in enticed by this and submits to the man. Indeed women are submissive by nature but i feel we cannot use that in society as a weakness like the media is portraying it to be.
All in all the movie was not bad at all it really had a few good moments and the music was great and if I were to rate it I would give it two and a half popcorns out of five… Not bad but at the same time maybe not for mainstream. I think it should have stopped with the book maybe. Or maybe they could have had the character of Anastasia to be a more confident and strong individual rather than the low self-esteem shy Anastasia we see in the movie. Even though the sex scenes can be seen as romantic but at the end of the day the girl is tied up and the man is the one who is in control.
Personally I feel that the mainstream entertainment is the one to blame because they are getting the society accustomed to the culture of women being objectified and as time goes by it is going to become second nature if it has not yet, to see women in roles that belittle them.