He is “just like that” because he himself was mistreated. And she has a daddy problem. The film adaptation of the erotic world bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey” is not only psychologically lame – instead of sadomasochism there is flower sex.
When you take the subway through Berlin in the morning, you often stand on the platform and wait, and on the wall across the street are posters from the Berlin public transport company’s cuddling campaign, saying that they love their passengers, probably even when they’re not driving. You often have a lot of time to think about what kind of love that actually is. This feeling must be somehow related to the one that the “Fifty Shades” hero Christian Grey has for his beloved Anastasia, without whom he cannot be without, and when he has her, he is overcome by the urgent need to hurt her.
The Berlinale now has its big event – the German premiere of the film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. The good news first: All those who fear that the triumphant advance of “Fifty Shades of Grey” will make a culture of domestic violence, which enlightened societies have been fighting for decades, can calm down for the time being.
One of the most famous works of the director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who finally got the contract to film the bestseller, is a two-minute clip, which she shot in 2011. It shows the current 007, Daniel Craig, in women’s clothes. The voice of Judi Dench tells how many women in Great Britain are physically abused. Anastasia has not much to fear from Sam Taylor-Johnson.
It’s about submission and broken will
But it is still so: To like bondage games or sadomasochistic practices is one thing – but the constellation that describes “Fifty Shades” is about more, about submission and broken will. This starts with the fact that the somewhat naive and completely inexperienced student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is not up to the task. She comes for an interview to the office of the young CEO Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), whom she finds intimidating but somehow seductive, and very soon he asks her to move in with him.
He wants to buy her, in principle: she can have anything she wants, clothes, a new car – as long as he can do whatever he wants with her. He, quite the smart businessman, would like to contractually secure this – it is precisely defined what this means, and in addition, what she is allowed to eat and what she will bloom if she does not show him the respect he deserves. For such a thing, one should not forget that women’s shelters were built, despite all openness to sexual varieties. But Anastasia doesn’t need one, her own will remains with her.
Anastasia is not really masochistic; the label “Sadomaso book” did not really fit to E.L. James’ model. It is not exactly suited to make the Marquis de Sade blush, and it describes all kinds of things (in a very repetitive, limited vocabulary) – it does not indulge in descriptions of pain. In the film it looks like this: Anastasia gets a few on her butt on various occasions, and when her lover gets his first real slap on the wrist at her own request, Anastasia packs her things; but that is only part 1 of the trilogy.