Let’s talk about….50 Shades of Grey

Disclaimer 1: This topic is really polarizing, but whatever, this is my blog and I can’t keep quiet on this issue anymore.
Disclaimer 2: I’m not an expert on film analysis, but hopefully that makes it accessible to more people. I don’t know all the correct terminology but maybe you don’t either and this will make more sense to you!
Disclaimer 3: I haven’t read the books. And I sure as hell won’t be seeing the movie(s).

I’m going to totally bypass the morality aspect of 50 Shades of Grey. That’s between you and your conscience and whatever religion your subscribe to (if any). Nothing I have to say on that front is going to make a difference either way so let’s just move beyond that for this particular moment and look at the other problematic elements.

We live in a culture where rape happens…and it happens a lot. It’s not about sex (most of the time), it’s about power. It’s about someone using their power and authority to take control of the situation. It’s arrogance. “You know you want it” (although I still don’t think “Blurred Lines” is about rape, that’s a conversation for another day.) These things are important and relevant, so please keep that in mind when you read this/watch the 50 Shades of Grey trailer.

Honestly, I watched the 50 Shades of Grey trailer not because I was really interested in the movie, but because I like being part of the conversation. If something is happening in the world that I know is going to make people go into a frenzy, I like being informed and being able to contribute. Unfortunately I had to watch it multiple times to do this blog post…so that sucked.

I LOVE movie trailers…they’re such a fascinating art form to me. Any time I watch a movie at home my husband gets SO annoyed because I have to watch the trailers. Everything that gets put into a trailer is for a reason. How the characters are introduced, the music, the dialogue they pick…all of it. They are establishing the nature of this movie and that’s incredibly troubling to me.

First thing’s first, let’s talk about the good:

-Beyonce. I mean goodness gracious. What did we mere mortals do to deserve a new version of “Crazy in Love“? As my incredibly wise friend Henry said, “Crazy in Love is the song that keeps on giving for Beyonce. Go ahead and cash that check, B.” PREACH.
-The scenery is pretty legit (minus that horrifying torture room that I’m sure 50% of the movie will take place in). His office is so modern and gorgeous. So much natural light!
-Danny Elfman did the score, which I’m a little bummed out about. Come on, man, isn’t there a new Tim Burton movie you should be working on?

Honestly that’s about it for me. I’m sure some people think the dude is hot or whatever so you can count that one too, if you want.

Here’s the bad:

-The first impression we get is that this girl is meek. She literally jumps at the sound of the elevator dinging…you’re on an elevator, what did you think would happen?! This is not coincidental. Right out the gates we have to establish that this girl is not in control. She NEEDS someone to fix her.
-This guy’s some sort of executive or something? I don’t know, I’m not going to google that because I’m one thousand percent sure that the specifics don’t matter. What DOES matter is he’s in a position of authority. This guy is important and he clearly uses that power to get this lady and that’s just really not cool. It gives me the heeby-jeebies thinking about it.
-Grey is first described as “polite, intense, smart…really intimidating.” Am I supposed to find this sexy? This dude sounds terrifying. Counter this with what we know about the woman…she’s scared of an effing elevator bell.
-“What about you? I’d like to know more about you.” He comes and sits down next to her. “There’s really not much to know about me…look at me.” He’s grooming her. GROSS. So this lady has to feel bad about herself to be beautiful to this guy? This makes me feel really dirty. Is this so that women can feel like they identify with this broad? “Oh, she feels inferior…I FEEL INFERIOR SO I’M JUST LIKE HER.” Like, can we not do that? This is not normal. Honey, you’re beautiful. You are. I’m not just saying that.
-Some dude is trying to kiss her on the sidewalk(?) and Grey runs up and pushes the guy out of the way. I don’t know the situation, maybe this guy was trying to attack her or something but couldn’t she have just like….moved? Do we really need Grey to come in and save the day? I mean, obviously we do because he’s in control. She is not in control of her own being or sexuality, that’s obviously not her job. It’s not the woman’s job. This scene was in the trailer for a REASON you guys.
-“I don’t do romance, my tastes are very…singular.” Oh, that’s cute. jk it’s not.
-And FINALLY we don’t get the full version of “Crazy in Love” and once it does come out, I’m going to have to buy it which means that stupid movie is going to get a few cents from me, so I’m pretty pissed about that.

So there you have it. Please don’t go see that movie. Please don’t encourage misogyny. Please don’t perpetuate rape culture. You’re better than that. You’re smarter than that. You’re stronger than that. Let’s make more movies about strong women. They can be super sexually explicit, if that’s what you want but let’s at least give them some dimension. Can we stop writing and reading these stories? And can we stop giving these stories big budget films and multiple sequels?

REMINDER: THIS BOOK WAS TWILIGHT FAN FICTION. So just let that sink in, in case you’ve forgotten.

Sound off! I’m sure tons of people think I’m crazyyyyy and I want to talk about it! Leave a comment below so we can start a SMART, KIND dialogue.

xoxo
Valery

 

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