The 50 shades of grey movie was a smashing box office hit. The book alone sold about 100 million copies. Over the weekend, it raked up US$240 million worldwide and struck a record $900K in Singapore for an R21 film. And the fact that it was screened during the Valentine's Day weekend is a triple whammy for the director, producers and author. It is indeed a huge marketing success. Universal chairman actually planned to release it in the summer of 2014 but realized that this year's Valentine's Day fell on Saturday. It goes on to report, "That set up a potential one-two punch: Fans of the book would likely come out on Friday and Saturday could become a date night selection. Studio research indicated that women overwhelmingly make Valentine's Day movie decisions." And female fans apparently dragged their husbands and boyfriends to catch the movie.
However, I read somewhere that the main cast of the movie, namely, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, did not find their roles rewarding, to put it mildly. Here is what was reported in an interview with them.
"By Dornan’s own admission, neither experience was pleasant. After visiting the sex dungeon and returning home to his wife and daughter, he admits, “I had a long shower before touching either of them.” In fact, the dichotomy between his life as a family man, and what he was being asked to do on set, seems to have bothered him quite a lot. "The first day [of filming] was kind of an out-of-body experience. I got there and they said, 'Action!' I’m like, 'What the f--k is happening? I’m a dad. What?'""
Here is what was reported about Ms Johnson’s experience.
"And then there’s Dakota Johnson…who kind of, sort of, maybe hopes that nobody ever watches the movie. “I don’t want my family to see it, because it’s inappropriate. Or my brother’s friends that I grew up with. Also there’s part of me that’s like, I don’t want anyone to see this movie. Just kidding.”" Just kidding? I wonder which part of it is she just kidding?
Having browse through the book when I was in kinokuniya sometime ago, and considering what the actors have to say about their roles, I now know why the movie is slapped with the Mature/RA21 rating. If I can read the mind of the local censor board, I guess they would have their own 50 shades of censor or dissent. And with a little imagination, they would go something like this:-
1) It's all about sex.
2) Then there's more sex.
3) And just when you think it's safe to go back home, school or sleep, there it is again...the sex!
4) The sex is abusive.
5) The sex is deceiving.
6) The sex is empty.
7) The sex also hurts.
8) The sex mocks marriage.
9) The sex mocks marital love.
10) The sex mocks chastity.
11) The sex mocks innocence.
12) The sex mocks virginity.
13) The sex mocks purity.
14) The sex toys with feelings.
15) The sex confuses feelings.
16) The sex perverts feelings.
17) The sex degrades women.
18) The sex objectifies women.
19) The sex enslaves women.
20) The sex belittles sexual equality.
21) The sex belittles sexual integrity.
22) The sex belittles sexual wholeness.
23) The sex desacralizes what is good about sex.
24) The sex desacralizes what is pure about sex.
25) The sex desacralizes what is pleasurable about sex.
26) The sex promotes sodomy.
27) The sex promotes libertine orgies.
28) The sex promotes bestiality.
29) The sex promotes outrageous pornography.
30) The sex promotes outrageous immodesty.
31) The sex promotes infidelity.
32) The sex promotes sadism.
33) The sex promotes masochism.
34) The sex promotes sadomasochism.
35) The sex promotes self-contempt.
36) The sex promotes self-pleasure above everything else.
37) The sex promotes self-masturbatory sexual fantasy with someone other than your wife.
38) The sex demands your attention.
39) The sex needs your attention.
40) The sex must have all your attention.
41) The sex is shameful.
42) The sex is hateful.
43) The sex is disdainful.
44) The sex dehumanizes.
45) The sex depersonalizes.
46) The sex desensitizes.
47) The sex debauches.
48) The sex's defeating.
49) The sex's demeaning.
50) Last but not least, the moral of the movie (or the wanton lack of it) is not something you want to pass down as a legacy to your children...neither them to their own children. What's more to even picture your children watching it at such a tender age!
The mind of those under 21 (and above for that matter) have enough filth sloshing around in their head already thanks to the free-for-all internet. And the paternalistic censor board have done the wise thing by not tossing this movie into their inflammable mental swamp; the books and pirated downloadable video notwithstanding.
While the producers and author have indeed struck gold with this sleaze-fest of a movie that glorifies dehumanizing sex and magnifies it to pornographical proportions, I guess they have us to thank for parting with our spare cash in wads and swarms in exchange for savoring an intimate hour or two of unchained sexual escapism, forbidden pleasure, and carnal bonding. Cheerz.