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"Fifty Shades Darker" disappoints with lack of passion

At the beginning of Fifty Shades Darker, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) renegotiates the terms of her former relationship with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) such that the relationship now has no rules and no punishments. Ana starts a new job as an assistant at a book publishing firm, and Christian continues to buy companies and nice things with his seemingly endless supply of money. Over the course of the film, Ana and Christian become much closer to each other as they try to develop a more healthy relationship. As with the previous film, there is nearly an equal ratio of plot development to sex scenes.

Some portions of the film that seemed serious instead provoked laughter from the audience due to the awkwardness of the interactions between Anastasia and Christian. Dornan’s attempt at aloofness and stoicism come off as socially incompetent towards Johnson, whose body language leaves the viewer unconvinced of her attraction towards him. Christian Grey is supposed to be a charismatic man, but in the film he was disengaged and awkward. Neither of them emote much during the film, and it’s hard to see that they feel any sort of passion for each other. 

The soundtrack of this film was probably the worst part. Rather than showing love of passion through actual acting, it seemed like the director decided to use electropop to convey these feelings instead. After the first instance of this happening, the all of the other sex sequences felt repetitive. In addition, though music was the main sound during these scenes, Johnson’s breathing was louder, making the scene even more uncomfortable to experience. 

The film didn’t have a clear plot and scenes didn’t lead into each other as much as they just happened. The film felt like one was viewing many vignettes of Christian and Anastasia’s relationship, but in reality the audience was viewing it linearly. This easily could have been solved by slowing down the whole film and developing the characters more. This movie adaptation is not for someone who wants a fantastic drama; rather moviegoers should come to see this film for the sex scenes and unrealistic drama that they read about in the book. 

Rating: C

Fifty Shades Darker opens today. 

eholmes@theeagleonline.com


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