“Fifty Shades of Grey – Liberated Lust” in the cinema

So far it was only a game. He was rich, she was still studying. He had a sadomasochistic torture cellar, she bought new underwear for him. They put things in each other’s bodies and fell in love. The third part of the series now begins with the yes-word. Of course this is meant in church, but in the figurative sense a yes-word is probably not the worst way to get into a movie. “Yes, I do!” – that is pure power, libido in its purest form. And then the subtitle of the film is “Liberated Desire”. In marriage of all places?

First of all, honeymoon is the order of the day. Honeymoon is something beautiful. The two of them mate with a great gesture in European four-poster beds. Jamie Dornan’s back muscles work as if he wasn’t having sex, but as if he were a complicated apparatus within a room whose interior is having sex with itself. The world of billionaire Christian Grey, whom he plays, looks like the world of people who would like to be rich, who imagine being rich: Like a walk-in home catalog. Anastasia Grey, formerly Steele, has yet to get used to the fact that everything that the light touches is now hers.

Can I show my breasts on the beach if my husband is a control freak?


New questions arise: Can I show my breasts on the beach if my husband is a whip-swinging control freak? Can I use my own kitchen where the housekeeper rules? Where do I place the bodyguard so that he fits in well with the room?

The second part of the series spent a lot of energy to show how immeasurable Christian’s financial power is. Where there were problems, he bought everything and everyone down. But now the courtship game is over. Christian got what he wanted, namely her. There is nothing left for him to do but to hold on to his possessions as he sees them. So he is on the defensive. She takes liberties, argues with him about who is allowed to drive. Then he is back at the wheel, but somehow it becomes clear that this cannot go on forever. Submission to the man is just a game – that is the good news of “Fifty Shades of Grey”.


The first two films had only implicitly hinted at this. There the unapproachable, never smiling billionaire sat at the piano at night and romantically strummed a few chords alone after sex. Here he does it during the day during a winter vacation with friends who shrug their shoulders in amusement and say: “Now he even sings. At one point he asks irritatedly whether she has rolled her eyes. She did. When she goes out for a drink with a friend against his will, he punishes her by first tying her up with relish and then suddenly letting go of her. The pop music, which usually comes on to the regularly rolling soft porn scenes, collapses. The choreography of lust, power and desire, within which he was the beast, she was only the beautiful, is losing its momentum.

That is why the third part is characterized by a tremendous fuss. After all, the two are married. So they also go hiking in outdoor clothes. They argue – but in the next scene they take off again in a private jet, drinking champagne. Then they have carefully draped film sex. Then she sits in the office and has to work. Then they have to save Christian’s sister, because she was kidnapped. None of it makes any sense. But that’s probably the way it is in marriage. That’s why sadomasochism is especially interesting from a marital perspective: There is a fixed script. Fixed rules, fixed roles, which otherwise dissolve in the miserable little things of everyday life.

Which lust is liberated here? A bourgeoisie that has been blasted out of all fetters?