Kinky Delusions: Our Review of ‘Fifty Shades Freed’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - February 09, 2018
Kinky Delusions: Our Review of ‘Fifty Shades Freed’

This is not a film, this is a depiction of a bourgeois delusion of what a marriage is. James Foley’s Fifty Shades Freed also lets little old me realize how focus groups co-wrote it. It’s supposedly a celebration of what women and their crappy boyfriends or husbands want. Fast cars, nice hair, arguing, bad make-up sex. It features the most tepid car chase scene in film history. After that we see our antihero Anastasia Steele-Gray (Dakota Johnson) cutting her beloved Christian’s (Jamie Dornan) hair. Scenes of upper class flash are important, nay, paramount in this ‘romantic’ series.

Christian is the adopted scion of a rich family who pays for overpriced torn jeans. But he chooses not to wear a belt for some reason. This choice plays into what he wears in the infamous red room where he and Ana enact their BDSM sessions. Fine, the belt-less jeans look good on Dornan, the simple combination reminds the audience of his modeling days. It also evokes Christian’s orphan roots. Or more simply, it could show Freed‘s author, E.L. James, and her warped version of what BDSM is. Put on bum-less chaps like the rest of us.

Coherent storytelling is unnecessary here because who needs that I guess. This makes its counterpart Breaking Dawn seem like a campy masterpiece. In the latter, Robert Cullen and Bella Swan-Cullen are already a unit, organizing a squad, ready to fight their villains. However, Ana’s still negotiating her place within her marriage. I am a sociopath who will die alone yet I know that marriage consists of bargaining against unforeseen circumstances. Yet they’re having tense conversations about things that they should have known about each other before. A brat like Christian doesn’t want kids. Shocking.

The baby question isn’t the only thing troubling paradise. The first thing that took a damper on their whirlwind marriage is an intruder in the Grey Enterprise offices. The perpetrator happens to be Jacob substitute Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson). Despite having priors, Christian’s security firm couldn’t identify an unmasked man wearing a baseball cap. Ana’s the one who has to interrupt her vacation in France and tell the firm who the man is. Jack is Ana’s former boss and rapist whose henchmen is trying to destroy Grey Enterprises and her marriage. This plot is perfect for a paranoid fan base.

This is like the Beauty and the Beast dynamic where like most women and some men Ana has two choices. She could either go for a vengeful ex-jailbird whose poverty shows through his pinkeye. Or a guy who throws money at her so she could stay at a co-dependent relationship. We’ve all met men-children like Christian. The grossest part about this mythology is that Ana wants to ‘change’ Christian because broken guys deserve that. Broken men deserve love yes, but that’s not the proper word to describe men like Christian – they’re like dust.

Freed is the product of wasted yet rescuable talent. I’ve already mentioned the actors, Johnson being the only one who comes closest to being unscathed. She’s the only one in her family who innately resists the male gaze even though the latter still traps her. She mostly wins but there’s a scene where Ana’s putting on every accessory before she puts on her dress. I hope and am 95% sure that that’s not how women dress themselves. That scene, nonetheless, makes it obvious that the movie isn’t for her, for Ana, or for its female target audience.

Other talented people who worked on this film is Oscar winning Marcia Gay Harden. She doesn’t even bother to have chemistry with her adopted son in her one scene. There’s director James Foley. His previous work include Glengarry Glen Ross and Fear, which called out abuses in capitalism and relationships. It’s baffling to see someone who tackled great subject matter be the director of something opposite to his previous work. There’s also Danny Elfman, whose score plays second fiddle – ha – to a Spotify playlist of bad covers. Whatever, Happy Valentine’s Day to all you guys, I guess.

This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
Comments are closed.