50 Shades Of Grey - Can It Be Fixed?

Quick Thoughts: 50 Shades Of Grey

I've just been over this film. (50 Shades Of Grey - Smut That Sells). But, where there is a problem to be seen, there is also a solution to be found.

I'll start by saying that I've already outlined pretty much the core of why this film is bad, but also why that's its best attribute. In short, it's over the top. To fix this you could simply tone things down, creating a more traditional romance. The degree to which you do this will be hard to judge however, as this is a story with a specific audience. So, what I want to look at is how you could both tone the film down and amp it up to really hit home with the promises it provides.

Ok, the first and easiest thing to fix is how to tune things down. Take almost all dialogue away. Firstly, and I hate to mention this precious film in this context, check out Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans. This film is the best lesson to anyone writing romance movies in my opinion. It simply teaches the importance of pure cinema (for specifics click the link). Secondly, you want to take all the dialogue because...

... enough said to be honest. Not only is there next to no dialogue in these... ahem... 'movies', but we all skip it anyways. This actually reinforces the silent movie traits brought up with Sunrise when you consider the fact that you never really see the guys face that much. This happens so we, the male audience members, can attribute ourselves to that monstrous dick (self-absorbent, I know).

So, how do we then capitalise on the porn and silent cinema influences whilst creating an actual narrative? Two approaches. The first:


You just go balls-to-the-wall, non-stop, with absolute and pure fuckery. This does take away an element of narrative, which is the core criticism of these films here, but if you just want to entertain, then who cares? The second and more complex, narrative-centred approach:




In short, what we have here is suspense v horror. There are a myriad of Hitchcockian sensibilities in 50 Shades Of Grey in how it implies images. This is great, but it's only the start of things. Things need to escalate much quicker and push it a lot further. That means you need to make the social exchange portrayed in the lead-up, the first act and the character-based elements more realistic and then suck away dialogue when romance escalates. When things get into the territory we came in for, they need to stop being suspenseful and start being explicit. In short, make a horror/romance thing.

The solution to the problem here is thus ambiguous, but suffice to say, for 50 Shades Of Grey to deliver what it promises it needs to shut up, mute Hitchcockian elements to minor details and then fuck some shit up.


Boom. Boom. Boom. That's how I'd make 50 Shades better. Do you agree? What would you do?

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