Anna, a virginal college undergraduate, is whisked away by Christian in his helicopter to the young billionaire’s palatial penthouse in Seattle.
After a minimal preamble, she asks, ‘Are you going to make love to me now?’, to which the pug-faced Christian replies, ‘I don’t make love, I fuck… hard’. The two teenage girls in front of me, busy checking Facebook on their iThingies, titter.
Christian disrobes Anna in close-up. She’s got nice nipples, which is just as well, because you are going to see a hell of a lot of them. Christian’s private parts are not exposed, but you can bet your life that he has a schlong like a Polish salami. He gets her into the sack and, as they are seized in rapture by the world’s greatest act of fornication, I become aware of a loud grinding noise.
Odd to have it in the soundtrack at this point, I think. Soon enough I realise, it’s the pneumatic drill from the cinema’s adjoining construction site. As an accompaniment to Anna’s sighs and grimaces of ecstasy, it lifted the moment into the realms of glorious Dada surrealism.
Next morning, the Rolling Stones’ fab version of Beast of Burdenis playing as Anna cooks her man’s brekka. Though heavy handed, the use of the song is the only note of irony that I could detect (apart from the drill in the wall) in this indescribably listless and boring movie. I mean really, this couple makes Bella and Edward of Twilight’s miserable memory seem almost interesting.
I’ve not read EL James’s world-conquering novel, feminist friends (remember feminism?) and literary crits suggesting it might be a bridge too far for me in my attempts to keep abreast of the times.
All I can say about the screen adaptation is that I have no objection to sexual fantasy – we all indulge – and as soft porn the movie is passable if repetitive.
I went with an open mind and in the end was genuinely surprised, for it is even worse than I feared.
~ John Campbell