|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||Fifty Shades of Grey|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 125 Min.|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
It's never a good sign if a distributor does everything to prevent the press from reporting on a film in advance and instead places countless advertisements in the relevant media and online portals that virtually beat this film into collective consciousness. This is the case with "Fifty Shades of Grey" in a particularly extreme way, because the people in charge don't want to let the extreme hype about the filming of the million seller be destroyed by negative reporting. Besides, the film is not made for the critics, but for the fans - and they should be lured into the cinemas in droves. Faithful fans of the book react extremely displeased when you quietly criticize the quality of the novels and the film adaptation. There seem to be only two camps: Those who love the book (although many of them admit that it's bad from a purely literary point of view, but still a lot of fun) and those who reject and really hate everything that says "Fifty Shades of Grey". It's precisely this extreme polarization and the extreme secrecy on the part of the distributor that makes a factual review of the film a real challenge.
Because actually a film review of "Fifty Shades of Grey" through the clearly distributed fronts seems to be completely unnecessary. Whoever loves the book sees in all critics anyway only "Haters" and "Trolls" who do not want to grant them the joy of the story. And those who don't like the book will never want to believe that there might also be positive sides to this extremely hyped phenomenon from which even DIY stores (!) profit. Nevertheless, an attempt will be made here to evaluate the film as unbiasedly as possible as what it is: light entertainment that is clearly aimed at a certain target group. Does the bestseller filming work as such? Is the movie really only for women? Do the 20 minutes of sex scenes actually offer tingling eroticism or only hypothermic prudery?
The story itself only plays a subordinate role, as in the book, because it is very simply constructed: When the 21-year-old student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) takes over an interview for the university newspaper with the heavily wealthy young entrepreneur Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) as a favor for her sick friend Kate (Eloise Mumford), she does not suspect that her life will change forever as a result of this meeting. At first, she is intimidated and repelled by the billionaire's condescending appearance, but at the same time she feels attracted to his blunt insinuations in a way she has never seen before. Since the interview doesn't quite go as Ana had expected, she assumes that she will never see Christian again. But far from it. The attractive entrepreneur is also extremely taken with the student and wants to see her again. A hot affair develops between the two of them, in which Christian Anastasia abducts them into a world full of sexual abysses, which let them experience a whole new kind of passion. But can a real relationship also be built on this kind of sexual submission? Or is Christian Grey perhaps not capable of real love at all?
To anticipate it right away: From a purely technical point of view, "Fifty Shades of Grey" is not a bad film. The atmospheric camera work of Seamus McGarvey ("Abbitte", "The Avengers"), the atmospheric chosen music and the direction leave a quite positive impression, even if one notices clearly in some places that author E. L. James has given director Sam Taylor-Johnson ("Nowhere Boy") hardly any creative freedom in working out the characters. Moreover, Dakota Johnson in particular succeeds quite well in giving the character Anastasia Steele her own, more interesting character than was the case in the book. The transformation that Ana undergoes during the course of the film depicts Don "Miami Vice" Johnson's daughter just as convincingly as the mixture of curiosity, lust and desire that Christian awakens in her - even though she starts to breathe a little too often on the smallest occasions, especially in the first half of the film. Some of the supporting actors also do quite well compared to the material they had to work with, which in combination with the pictures and the music makes for some quite worth seeing moments. Only Jamie Dornan remains relatively pale as Christian Grey. The charismatic alpha animal, which this figure was supposed to be, is not really taken away from him. His answer to Ana's question whether she would sleep together now is therefore more involuntarily funny than sexy.
The movie's biggest problem is undoubtedly the script over which E. L. James has had too much influence. Even though she has become successful and wealthy through her books, this does not make her a good writer. One must never forget that "Fifty Shades" was originally "Twilight" fan fiction, in which the author lived out her fantasy as Snowqueen`s Icedragon about the erotic adventures of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, enriched with hot bondage games. Even if the resulting trilogy has a very special appeal and a high entertainment value for many readers, nobody can deny that the books sold millions of times are very simply knitted trivial literature. There's nothing reprehensible about that, because sometimes even the simplest things are really a lot of fun. The whole thing only becomes problematic when the author takes her work more seriously than she actually is. In the right hands, much more could have been extracted from their story, and the relationship between Anastasia and Christian could have been made more interesting on a psychological level. But James obviously knew how to prevent this well, which is why the book's weaknesses are also fully apparent on the screen.
In the book, the terrible and sometimes somewhat dubious dialogues ("If you become my slave, I am completely devoted to you") may not play a major role, since the readers are primarily concerned with the exciting sex scenes. The question now arises whether the film can also profit from the tingling eroticism. The answer to this is a clear "yes". The fact is that the sex scenes for the film version have been significantly reduced. Particularly explosive moments like the infamous tampon scene were rejected for the film from the outset. What's left is nicely filmed, but nothing really exciting. And since sex is served rather lukewarm despite an attractive body and clapping whip strokes, the unintentionally funny dialogues and the in some scenes unbearably intense penny novel kitsch unfortunately attract more attention than in the book.
Fans will probably only be marginally disturbed. While the high expectations for the movie version of their favorite book might lead some of them to be a little disappointed by this light version of the book, the movie version of this love story will also gobble up enough and, despite the rather embarrassing finale, the two sequels can hardly be expected. And so in the end the little surprising conclusion remains: "Fifty Shades of Grey" will certainly not turn critics of the book into fans. It's not a very good movie, but at least one that satisfies a large part of its target group. And if those for whom the film was made leave the cinema happily in the end, and then a little new fire is ignited in one relationship or another by going to the cinema, then the film has its justification in any case - even if it disappoints from an artistic point of view. And that's why there is a very clear message for everyone who loved the book and who is not only interested in the sex scenes: Worth seeing! And for all others there are enough other movies for which the entrance fee is better invested!
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