Directer: Sam Taylor Johnson
Starring: Jamie Dornan and Dakota Jamie Dornan
Literature student Anastasia Steele's life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey (IMDB)
It has been no secret that I was not looking forward to reviewing this movie. I had not read the books but extracts I'd read on the net and various reviews over the last few days had left me with the opinion that this movie was about a girl who met a billionaire and basically allowed him to control, dominate and humiliate her which enraged me. Women have fought for so long to be empowered and independent and I felt this was setting us back 50 years. One reviewer had said domestic violence was being passed for erotica but once I watched 50 Shades I seen the story as it truly is, this is not about a woman being the victim of violence, it is the story of a man who was severely abused at the hands of women in his childhood which has left him with severe personality issues and emotional scars. In the words of Jack Houseman in Dirty Dancing, 'When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.
Christian Grey's birth mother was a drug addict whore and Christian was severely abused by both his mother and her pimp. When he was only four years old his mother committed suicide and he was left alone with her corpse for days. Can you imagine the psychological effects this would have on an innocent child. When the traumatised Christian was brought to the ER he met Doctor Grace Grey who went on to adopt him. All his life Christian had nightmares of the events of his childhood and the psychological effects are very apparent in his need to 'exert control on all things.'
When he was only 15 years old he was seduced by his adoptive mothers best friend who introduced Christian to BDSM and he played the role of the submissive in this relationship. 15 years old!!!! Think of your own child, a nephew, a cousin, a friends child, can you imagine a child of this age being whipped, tied up, humiliated and sexually abused by someone you call a friend. During his teen years he suffered violent mood swings, drank and did not respond well to the therapists he was sent to, to help him. For 6 years Christian played this role as the submissive and he used it as a way to control his emotions, his sadness, his rage and he channeled all this into what he felt were positive outlets.
We all watch shows like Criminal Minds where we see on a weekly basis the violent acts of victims of child abuse and I am not saying what he was doing was right but I can understand that instead of going out and abusing women he entered into this world of BDSM to have away to exert his rage in what is a consenting adult relationship so in his eyes what he was doing wasn't wrong. After all, he was conditioned to think this way through his relationship with his mothers friend. In 1905 Sigmumd Freud described Sadism and Masochism as diseases developed from the incorrect development of the child psyche and this was clearly the issue for Mr Grey. Child abuse survivors have many behavioral health effects such as isolation, social disconnection and the risk of living alone. Even in his relationship with his adoptive mother you can see he keeps her at a distance too. According to the USA Surgeon General: 'Severe and repeated trauma during youth may have enduring effects upon both neurobioligical and psychological development altering stress responsivity and altering adult behaviour patterns....these individuals experience a greatly increased risk of mood, anxiety and personality disorders throughout adult life.
When Christian meets Ana he is utterly attracted to her and decides he wants her as his submissive. Now, what people want to do in the bedroom is up to them but its the rules of this kind of relationship that disgusted me, she would be under his complete control and had to suffer a punishment if she didn't obey. Ana enjoyed her sexual awakening with Christian but when she realised exactly what the punishment entailed that was it for her. Christian had 15 other submissive partners in the past but meeting Ana was beginning to change him.
From the way people were talking I expected the sex scenes to be way more explicit and that I would feel so uncomfortable watching it but to be honest I think that was a bit of an exaggeration on other reviewers part. Dakota Johnson was fantastic in this role, she brought a lot of humour to the movie, I had expected it to be basically all sex scenes but it was funny and I was utterly engrossed in the story. I started the movie thinking Christian was a complete ass and slowly started to see something terrible had happened to this man to have him like this. I thought Jamie Dornan was perfect in the role. He clearly communicated those moments when Ana had tamed the beast within but also had this dark look in his eyes when Christian was in his darker moments.
So over all, yes I am eating my words, 50 Shades of Grey is a compelling story, its not basically a porno, its the tragic story of the results of child abuse and a man who is tortured by the demons of his past. The movie ended leaving me wanting more. Can Ana do for Christian what the therapists couldn't and save him from the nightmares of his childhood? When we watch a movie about serial killers like Ted Bundy do we think the film makers are glorifying murder, no we dont, we see it for the story it is so when you go and watch 50 Shades I hope you look deeper and see the true tale within.