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When I Finally Watched Fifty Shades Of Grey

The first inkling I had that the most anticipated Valentine movie of 2015 didn’t measure up to expectations was with a friend’s tweet. He tweeted: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey is Fifty Shades of Fucked up. #wastedmymoney.’

Before this time, I’d only read the first few pages of the book. I begged and wheedled it from a friend, so driven was I by the talk about how it was a strong sell for sex and BDSM. I was intrigued. My intrigue plummeted when the first few pages began to read like a poor version of a Mills and Boon romance novel. I love romance novels, my love of books was weaned on Mills and Boon, and Harlequin romances. But I like to think I’ve outgrown such predictable storylines, that when I open a book, it is to read narratives that will send my heart racing, scatter goose bumps all over my skin, strum my tear glands, or make me recoil in horror. The first few pages of the book Fifty Shades of Grey did not captivate me. So I shut the book and let the matter rest.

And then, the movie adaptation was underway, and the buzz surrounding it was good and climbing, and the dedicated movie watcher than I am, I convinced myself that the film would be good enough for me to see, a better effort than what I’d seen of the book.

Then it premiered, and the reviews were not at all kind. The movie was making money at the cinemas, but no one seemed happy by its offering. The reasons for the public displeasure varied. I read a scathing article about how the writer was not impressed that the moviemakers were trying to pass the film off as a love story through its February 14 release. Some other person decried its eroticism, and another – a feminist, I think – had a few not-so-nice things to say about its depiction of female subjugation in a relationships. A friend of mine regretted his cinematic experience because the movie did not stimulate his mind. And the Nigerian Movie Censors Board further fanned the flames of discontent when it banned the movie from Nigerian cinemas.

And all this brouhaha left me befuddled. What was wrong with the movie? What was exactly wrong with Fifty Shades of Grey? Was it too sexy or too dumb? Was it a badly-told love story or thinly-veiled soft porn? I wanted to see it.

I eventually got to see it.

And I was disappointed.

Before I go into the reason for my disappointment, I want to find the collection of people that bitched and moaned about how overtly and excessively erotic the movie is, and have them given a sound caning. And then, I want to sit them down on those bottoms that are burning from the pain of the caning, and make them watch the Sharon Stone classic, Basic Instinct, or Madonna’s Body Of Evidence, or the 2014 Shia Labeouf-featured flick, Nymphomaniac. And I want to point an irate finger at the TV screen and shriek, “Now, THAT’S EROTIC!”

Because what I saw Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson do on the screen was reminiscent of . . . well, Bomboy and Simbi playing daddy and mommy. The not-so-infrequent flash of nipples, the panning of well-toned buttocks, the startling glimpse of pubic hair… Yes, yes, yes. So what else is new? Hollywood has been pushing the envelope with its offerings so much in recent times, it’s a wonder the envelope hasn’t been ripped apart to shreds. You see enough of Hollywood movies, and you become desensitized to some nudity here and there onscreen.

Unless, of course, it’s Jim Iyke’s ass thrusting up and down in a frenzy over Nikki Samonas’ teats.

In my opinion, Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t even erotic enough. And it didn’t live up to the hype wrapped around the much touted Bondage Discipline Submission/Sadism Masochism (BDSM). I followed after Christian Grey when he took Anastasia Steele into his playroom. I watched along with Anastasia, with wide-eyed disbelief, at the array of the instruments of sadomasochistic pleasure, arranged in delectable order. Anastasia dreaded what Grey wanted for them. I didn’t. I wanted to see it happen. I wanted to flinch at the lash of whip against flesh, to gape at the startling red of welts rising on skin, to gasp at the sensuous cruelty of the Dominant over the Submissive.


I mean, if the movie wasn’t going to entertain me with pithy deliveries and memorable scenes, I might as well get my freak on from the decadence of the sex.

But no, Fifty Shades of Grey failed me. The sex scenes were commonplace, and the BDSM was a joke. Grey would lash out with a flogger, there’d be a swish, and Anastasia would flinch and moan. That was it! The kind of clips you could show in a Sunday School class to teach the virtues of safe sex.

But wait, there was hope. The movie was nearly two hours past. The two lovers were embroiled in a tense moment of questions and discoveries.

And then, Anastasia said, “Punish me. Show me how bad it can be. I want you to show me the worst.”

The worst, she said.

And Christian Grey proceeded to give her six lashes of the belt. Not even koboko. Belt! And SIX LASHES?! That was the worst?! That tawai-tawai into six places was the grand finale?! Unbelievable!

It was with a heart much aggrieved and a soul mourning the two hours I wasted that I clicked off the movie as the credits started rolling, snapped shut my laptop and went to seek other delights to redeem my day.

Fifty Shades of Fucked-up indeed.

I am @Walt_Shakes on twitter

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. I was disappointed too. People make crappy movies sound like classics.

  2. Looool, I wrote an article “5 reasons you will be disappointed with fifty shades of grey”; I think I may just dump it…

    All through while I was watching, I was waiting for the punchline; as if there was more to come but nope, no more.. If anything, the soundtrack made up for the more that was lost in the movie…

  3. Chinyere Nkemjika

    Am just laughing to the high heavens. ” Reminiscent of Bomboy and Simbi playing daddy and mommy” kai! Walter is wicked. Fifty shades of Grey? No thanks. I don’t have the time to watch things like that. Thanks Waltz. I know better now.

  4. Now I’ve read this, I seriously dont wanna see the movie anymore. I’ve had it for weeks, but been dreading to see it

  5. I wanted to read your mind about it……too ordinary.

    Thank you for the icing on the cake. It just joined my to do list of the best boring days to come, when I can’t read, pray or sleep at night (My productive hours)

    like my normal abnormal self because as usual I read the end of the book and the beginning and middle part didn’t interest me in the least.

    The Kingsman was a better investment at the filmhouse. I still give the movie a standing ovation and an absolute value for money. Hope you’ve seen it? if not, pls do. The Kingsman: Secret Service or so

  6. After the unnecessary hype the movie got, I heard it was banned. So I put up a status on my bbm that read “who has Fifty shades Of Grey? I want to see it!”. The reaction I got was overwhelming. People who I didn’t have a conversation with for almost six months instantly chatted with me. There was, again, the unnecessary hype….”dont watch it! na urhobo chinese” “it’s blue film” “I have it but I won’t give you cos it’s too explicit”. I went ahead and downloaded the movie. I watched it. And I realised that I’ve friends who don’t know the meaning of ‘explicit’. I was disappointed.

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Hahahahahahahahaa @ last line. Aswear. Those decrying its explicitness need to revisit the dictionary.

  7. Lmaoooooooooo!

    Fingers crossed for d second installment!
    *trying hard to stiffle a giggle but bursts into a laughing fit*

    If you read d book like I did(All three parts! Yaayyyyyyyy) you would see that the 1st wasn’t all that. The sex scene in the book was more intense than the movie though! I dont know y dey downplayed d scenes! The other part might get u intrigued(just watch).
    I also have an issue with d actor though! He doesn’t give me the Christian Grey Vibes I got from d book. I see my Christian Grey in Chris Hempsworth! Imagine a buff nd dark haired Chris Hempsworth wielding a whip in the red Room of pain………………I comment my reserve!
    Oh well! Its not today we got to know about movie adaptations of books being bland. Dont even get me started on HALF OF A YELLOW SUN OH! I FELT DEPRAVED AFTER WATCHING! I FELT ANGRY! ANNOYED! It didn’t meet up cha-cha!

    • shakespeareanwalter

      That is why the Harry Potter franchise gives me life. Books were top-notch. Movies didn’t disappoint. Everything was just gold with that franchise.

  8. 50 shades of fuckery. Couldn’t even read the books to the end, never had plans of watching the movie. It’s amazing how people celebrate mediocrity today sha… btw, Walter u wee nor kee me, which h other sound does belt make against skin darris not “tawai, tawai”?? Lmao!!!

  9. I second dat.. D movie didn’t practice wat it was preaching and d lady looked overly dull to me.. Wasn’t looking forward to seeing her naked nd d tits.. Hmmmm it left much to b desired.. All in all d dude wasn’t bad but he needs d persona of 007 to pull off badass.. By 007 I mean d one and only pierce brosnan not dis daniel craig way dey form wetin I no knw.. Finall d ratins needs to drop lower dan it is nw.. So would ve loved to see dat d box office plummeted.. Here’s hoping d sequel does.. Dis movie and book no deserve d much publicity it is getting

  10. lmao, Now I really want to see the movie just to have an experience of how bad it is 😀

    • shakespeareanwalter

      That’s the pull, i suppose. People know it’s bad and they want to watch it to ascertain for themselves just how bad.lol

  11. Neva had any interest in reading the books even with all the hype. And now dat u’ve told me d movie is blah I guess i’m never seeing the movie either. I kuku Neva saw twilight and I didn’t die. Maybe it had to do with the directing sha.

    Maybe if they used the guy that directed Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, e for good. Altho ppl stil say the movie dint measure up to the book ( I Neva read the book), I remember cringing during the rape scene the 1st time I watched it. Buh maybe, just maybe the director from GWTDT would av done a better job with ds movie

  12. Loool Oh wow. Let me go and join @Honeydame to watch Passion of Christ

  13. D book sucks ! Dreadfully long and annoying all thru. I’m certainly nt surprised d movie is worse! Wasnt planning to watch it anyways. Bt dis was a funny write up Walt. D paragraph before last…hilarious!!

  14. Just finished the movie now. I need those minutes back.

  15. Hehehehe…Walter is nice sef… Been bashing this movie since day one. Kew it was gonna suck before I saw it. In fact, them beg me watch am gan, I still no gree. Then I did and I wasn’t disappointed for thinking I was gonna be disappointed.

  16. firstlady Temidayo

    Fifty shades of I’m hungry… Abeg, bone dat movie. Talkin abt it would make d “movie” feel important

  17. Hehehehehehehehe. A friend of mine says it’s an insult to BDSM. Your last paragraph though…hilarious. And i was really looking forward to seeing the movie. Thank you for the heads up.

  18. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY?? That’s two hours i’m never going back to.

  19. Uche, you couldn’t have spoken my mind any better. Do you remember that you sent me the book, couldn’t read past page 5…and then the movie came, the hype and I just wanted to see some good f**king (for lack of a better word)..totally beyond dissapointed…like seriously WTF!! Did they even have sex? What was that? I am so happy I didn’t watch it at the cinemas, I would have felt worse.

  20. I agree with this article. And I’d have to add, the book is also substandard. I did read & enjoy the first part but the 2nd & 3rd were just full of run-off lines with a sex scene to grab your attention back every 2 pages. It’s an ok book & ok movie if you want something unserious. The hype for both was unnecessary, in my opinion.

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Absolutely unnecessary. And now that we’ve seen what the first part of the movie has to offer, perhaps, the varnish over the franchise has been uncovered. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on the follow-up movies.

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