Review - Fifty Shades Darker
pepper - february 17
FIFTY SHADES DARKER
…or is it?
You might feel the controversial blockbuster movie franchise, like the books by E.L. James, could not have come at a worse time, and merely grooms young women to become the victims of violence, but take a second look and consider the power of our free will, regardless of the stream of deplorable images we see in films, games and across the 24/7 news cycle.
While Fifty Shades Darker, directed by James Foley, may be lacking in continuity and solid character development, its focus is on the interactions of consenting adults.
When Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) returns to Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) just three weeks after she calls an abrupt end to their relationship, she lays down the law. “No rules, no punishment and no more secrets”.
This is as firm as she gets though before, disappointingly for women everywhere, she appears not to know what she wants after all.
The involvement of secondary characters provides opportunities for conflict (Kim Basinger, Rita Ora and Australia’s Bella Heathcote are underutilised) and a token helicopter crash raises the stakes, prompting Christian to commit to a longer term arrangement if he is to keep Anastasia close.
I didn’t see the first film, nor did I read the books: I let the whole Fifty Shades bandwagon pass me by.
Removing all judgement, Fifty Shades Darker doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. It makes for pleasant albeit frustrating viewing about a singular fictional relationship.
The opportunity here is to escape for a couple of hours and experience the voyeurism that doesn’t come with reality television.
What’s most significant is that this fantasy world continues to appeal to women on a massive scale, despite losing key female minds from its creative process.
Our responsibility with regard to this film is the same as to any other: we choose what we take from it and we talk about it.
Fifty Shades Darker isn’t much darker at all, but it treads the fine line between the glorification of abuse and the mystique of a relationship that appears to work for those involved in it.
If only we can learn from our nation’s horrifying reality and keep the fantasy just that.