From taxi driver to…

50 Shades of Grey – dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson

Finally, it’s here!  I watched it with my lovely date on Saturday night (no, not the husband who couldn’t summon the enthusiasm but my gorgeous bestie) in a chocker cinema.

I’ll come to the film in a moment, but first I saw a connection with another exciting London happening – the introduction of the driverless car.  No, its not so Christian can tie Ana up in the car without embarrassing his chauffeur.  It’s because an objection to driverless cars was the loss of jobs for taxi drivers.  Well, that’s undoubtedly true, although just because you’re not driving for a living doesn’t mean that the activity of work itself has dried up.  Absolutely not – the film credits for 50 Shades mention a BDSM technical consultant.  I’m not sure how one qualifies for such a job but like window cleaners, taxi drivers see a lot of life, perhaps a few might be qualified?!

As for the input of said BDSM technical consultant?  Well, it has to be said I found the input somewhat lacking.  It would seem that Ms Taylor-Johnson was worried about taste and offending too many people.  So, we get just enough to be interesting – as much as one can, when its trying to show “singular” tastes but not enough to really shock or infuriate the average person.  Certainly not anyone who knows its 18 rated and has heard of the books.

So, what do we get?!  Well, Dakota is quite good in it.  Jamie Dornan is okay – bit too pretty to be Christian but he captured the intense and “bottled-upness” quite well.

Yes, I can hear you haters shouting about a young naive girl being intimidated and manipulated into things she didn’t want to do. Well, if I’m ever intimidated and manipulated by a billionaire then I hope I have half her oomph in handling him in the boardroom.  That was a lesson girls in how to do it!  Just hope I get the chance…

No doubt due to what’s often called mummy porn (how rude is that?!) EL James’ story is forgotten – given the anger or venom that sprouts about her writing skills maybe that’s not always deliberate?

Let’s remember that this is a coming of age story.  He is still the frightened four year old who sat by his mother’s corpse for days and who was sexually exploited by a feral cougar as a 15 year old.  Controlling everything has been his passport to success, feeding the world will he believes free him.  Clearly, it won’t, but he doesn’t know it, yet.  Ana is the nerdy English Lit graduate who loves romance but has never tried it herself, who’s only ever had a passing acquaintance with men who couldn’t see her passion.  How can that be anything but romance?  Might not be Mills & Boon but mostly love isn’t.

Keep that in mind, see the film and enjoy it for that.  The “shocking” BDSM scenes aren’t exactly tame but they’re not going to have you running for the hills.

From that perspective, maybe the on-set BDSM technical consultant didn’t really have to know that much, given how much the average London cabbie needs to know – perhaps it’s not too much of a leap?!