No matter what some people say, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trilogy is a box office hit. Obviously, I couldn’t ignore it and watched the new one, as well as the previous two earlier.
Without any doubt, the books are better in terms of the storytelling. I had read all of them before the 1st movie came out, so I know something to make a comparison.
The 1st movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was quite interesting ‘cause it was the very beginning of the whole story. It was unusual, compared with other films premiering at that time. It wasn’t new–people who have seen ‘9 ½ weeks’ will get it–but anyway…
‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (2015) is based on a 2011 erotic romance novel by British author E. L. James. Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia “Ana” Steele, a college graduate who meets a young billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, to conduct an interview for the college newspaper. Christian takes an interest in Ana straight away, and they eventually start dating. But, as it turns out, Mr. Grey has a very specific taste in sex: submission, and all the BDSM stuff.
The 1st movie is easy to watch, even though there are a lot of sex scenes. And by “a lot” I mean A LOT! Nevertheless, the plot is close to the book, and there’s an amazing song by Ellie Goulding ‘Love Me Like You Do’, as well as a sexy and slower rendition of ‘Crazy in Love’ by Beyoncé, and her ‘Haunted’; and The Weeknd’s Oscar-nominated ‘Earned it’…and Annie Lennox’s cover of ‘I Put A Spell On You’. Come on, you can’t say the OST isn’t great! I still consider Ellie Goulding’s song the best soundtrack song among all that we could hear in the 3 films.
Thus, all that altogether deserves 7 out of 10 from me.
Then, there was ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ (2017): while Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her (c)IMDb. This one receives 8 out of 10. Why this one gets 1 point more than the 1st? The story is more developed, great soundtrack again (this time there’re Zayn & Taylor Swift with ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’), less sex scenes but this time they are more “in place”, if I can say so, – there where they look appropriate in a scene and happen not every 10 min., like in the 1st film. We get to see more locations and Christian’s family (among which are Marcia Gay Harden and Rita Ora), the drama, the romance, the proposal, and, as an interesting bonus, – a Kim Basinger’s cameo (a nice cross-reference to ‘9 ½ Weeks’, isn’t it?). Even the leading actors look better and more mature, or something. This is clearly visible.
If in the 1st film there was some awkwardness between the leads, this time–in the 2nd one–the actors are more confident, and the chemistry between them, which was supposed to be felt straight away, according to the books, is finally visible.
Today I’ve watched ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ (2018) and I can say that I liked the 1st & 2nd films more than this one. I don’t know why exactly. There’s everything crucial for the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy – romance, music, locations, style, even the feeling of a thriller at times (Ana and Christian get married, but Jack Hyde continues to threaten their relationship = (c)IMDb) – but something is definitely missing. I guess it’s the scenes’ proper duration. The beginning is nice. There are lovely wedding- and honeymoon shots in Paris and Nice (aww, watching that, I had so many happy memories in my head of my vacation in Paris a short time ago). There was pleasant music again: this time I’d like to mention Liam Payne and Rita Ora’s song ‘For You’ (very light and catchy) and especially highlight Bishop Briggs’ cover of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ of my all-time favourite band INXS: I really liked the new darker sounding of it! I need to admit, the scenes closer to the end were good, too. But between the beginning and the ending, everything is happening rather quickly: the locations, situations, interaction are shown like “one – cut, two – cut, three – cut, and next one…”, like some digest. Well, you’ll see when/if you watch it. Taking that into account, I can only give 5/10, unfortunately.
Oh, I almost forgot, keep in mind that at the end there’s a pleasant bonus for those who have watched all three parts (and ‘Love Me Like You Do’ is there too). And do not run out of the cinema hall immediately after the start of the final credits–like some people who jump out of their seats like there’s a fire somewhere when even the lights aren’t on,–there’s an additional scene!
All in all, ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ is worth watching to have a good time (a date or a girls’ night out) and to see the whole picture – you know the beginning and now you’ll see where all the events have led to. Do not expect something supernatural and you will get what you need from the movie. It is still a must for movie-lovers, like me.